Pandora Isn’t Radio

But then, radio isn’t radio very often anymore

Much has been written lately about how Pandora is not Radio and vice versa. One of the big selling points for Radio is that Pandora cannot help in an emergency. Radio stands ready to assist in times of need.

That is 100% true. Radio does have the power to bring people together, share important information and be a rallying point for any community.

Fortunately for us, serious emergencies like the current flooding of the Mississippi river, the recent tornadoes in Alabama, and even the Japanese earthquake and tsunami are anomalies. That may be unfortunate for Radio.

What Radio is missing here is that people do know it is there when they need it. People do turn to (and on) the radio when they have to be aware and involved. People do know radio is viable and valuable.

What Radio is missing here is that these feelings exist all the time.

What Radio does not do is deliver the kind of emotional and necessary content that makes them viable all the time.

I’m not suggesting Radio becomes a walking, talking information machine. There needs to be choices. Much like I turn to ESPN when I want sports and the Travel Channel for Bizarre Foods, there needs to be a variety of entertainment options on Radio.

But, what is missing is the emotional element. Anyone (and everyone) can be your friend when times are tough. But what about life’s day-to-day moments?

How does Radio tap into this obvious awareness and make itself relevant every day?

People have not deserted Radio. They still know it is there and can provide value. The problem is Radio has forgotten how to deliver on a consistent, regular basis. In its quest to cut costs and game PPM, Radio has devolved into an emotionless delivery system of bland, generic content.

The same energy Radio applies to mobilizing efforts in times of crisis can be used to create emotional, personal and meaningful content on a daily basis.

The question is: Has Radio lost the knowlege or the will to do this?




Today’s guest blogger is Steve Allan, President of SMThree: The Social Media Specialists. Steve is also the former Program Director of WBIG in Washington, DC and WODS in Boston, among others. Subscribe to his blog or follow him on his Facebook page.