Is the podcasting vs. radio’ showdown finally planning to take center stage? It seems like podcasting along with other alternative types of entertainment have finally caused traditional corporate radio to react. In November of 2004, Bridge Ratings & Research released a report that indicated that the terrestrial radio audience was slowly slipping away. During the last couple of months of 2005, the reports show that for the most part, that ‘slippage’ has either stopped or slowed down. The youngest group – 12 – 24 years of age – showed the most interest in alternative media and also the least interest in traditional radio.
The older groups showed slight increases within their usage of radio, even though most are still spending lots of time with what’s considered alternative media: TV, Internet, Recorded Music, Books and Magazines.
The report doesn’t break out the impact of podcasting, however it does mention iPods and MP3 listening as having an effect, especially on the younger demographics.
In my opinion this makes sense. Younger audiences are more attracted to technologies. They’ll glom onto MP3 players and podcasts and reject many of the tradition time-wasters of their parents like books and TV, in favour of downloading songs online, browsing the net and sticking those earbuds into their head and tuning out any local radio station.
Originating from two-plus decades in radio, I know how hard it is to obtain and sustain a crowd whenever you DON’T have all of the competition of 2006. In 1976, you might have experienced a local paper and a few TV channels and a few local competing radio stations.
So a radio programmer today presently has to contest with 500 channels of cable TV, satellite radio, podcasting, in addition to another traditional media sources, including local and national newspapers and magazines, etc.
Where does that leave radio and podcasting?
From a personal standpoint, I don’t have much interest in local radio. Sure it will come up on occasion inside my car, only because I’ve gone through all my CDs and prefer to use a local station fill out the space as opposed to silence.
Because I get to sleep, We have my clock radio playing the local classic rock station. Unfortunately, the station is belonging to a big media corporation that owns hundreds, or even a large number of radio stations across America. So their announcers are sent to not say a lot and for that reason are allowed to have almost no personality. And ‘after hours’ – when there is no live person behind the microphone – we obtain automation, which suggests no live person, no voice tracking (which would a minimum of sound sort of like a live person); just song – song – song – commercial – station promo liner – song – song, etc…
On the other hand, when I fire up a podcast, I am suddenly invited into the industry of an actual person – someone who talks, eats, breathes and it is enthusiastic about their subject, whether its folk music, cult movies, hardcore alternative rock or wine-making.
Podcasting is Genuine. It may not hold the development value of an expert stereo station, but truly, who the heck cares? You don’t listen to podcasting to have the best quality. You pay attention to a podcast to obtain a real person.
And that’s what will still draw more and more people to podcasts, regardless of whether hearing or obtaining while watching microphone and creating their particular podcast.
In my opinion as humans we need the individual interaction, and when this means hearing a man sit down in front of a campfire, playing his ukulele and whispering regarding the stars above, then a lot of us will be in; we’re there!
Stereo will not be disappearing. The smart developers are going to let their air staff become more real, particularly when they see the inroads that podcasting will continue to make within their audience. Oddly enough, local radio stations have an advantage. Within the town I live, you will find a couple of local stations. A single plays lots of syndicated programming and extremely small nearby programming. They make it through because they offer a great lineup of national speak coding.
Another station is entirely nearby: everything you hear is done using their recording studio, from playing the strange combination of tunes which will make you want to giggle, cry, shout, cringe and turn the damn factor away – all in a 30 ymtwua span – to the nearby announcers who are at various stages skilled, untalented, polished, raw, goofy, tender, idiotic, enthusiastic and uncaring.
First and foremost, they’re Genuine. And that’s the best appeal – and repellent.
It’s like the nearby possessed stereo stations are already doing what podcasters are performing – being human.
It’s just that podcasters continue to have extreme latitude, and also the nearby radio people must stay within certain boundaries.
So if it’s the limitless boundaries you’re looking for within your world, find a podcast that talks to you, tune in to them support them, and let them know you’re available!