Radio’s Survival

Does it require THIS?


Network TV is in deep trouble. Ad Age reports that “89 of last year’s 100 most-watched TV shows on network TV involved live sports.”

Of course, the owners of live sports franchises understand they have the networks over a barrel which is why broadcast rights fees keep skyrocketing.

So, it made me think about Radio.

Can Radio survive without in-car listening?

Because soon, very soon, cars without the ability to stream Spotify or Sirius/XM or Apple Music will be very rare.

So if you only really listen in your car for music, or for podcasts, or for books on Audible — all of which are available in almost every car now — why would you choose an over-commercialized version of what you can get with only 3 or 4 minutes of ads every hour?

You wouldn’t, if all you care about is music.

But you might if you’ve bonded with the air talent that makes you smile, or makes you cry, or informs you about stuff you actually care about between songs.

Air talent that speaks to you individually, that provides a familiar and warm companionship, that entertains you every time you listen.

Even if you do have that level of really good talent, you still need to do something soon about commercial clutter, just as network TV has to do something about their atrocious track record of creating really interesting new programming.

As network TV spends less and less on content creation, willing to fill their schedule with worse and worse reality shows (that are extremely cheap to produce), it increases the likelihood that you and I will watch HULU and NETFLIX and HBO and AMAZON PRIME.

Similarly, as broadcast Radio spends less and less on non-music content creation (air and news talent), it increases the likelihood in-car listening will drift towards better alternatives.

How can we let this happen?