In an MSNBC "Morning Joe" discussion focusing on Rush Limbaugh, NBC White House political director Chuck Todd yesterday dismissed the radio industry as a "dying medium." Noted Todd: "But, it’s that idea that Limbaugh... even the venue that he’s on, radio, not the internet - you know, it’s very ‘90s. It’s very backwards...[radio] is a dying medium and a backward-looking technology.That prompted many responses including this one:
...you're right about teens not wanting to hear the announcer after the music stops... that's if they even listen to radio in the car. My teenage daughter constantly asks me to turn the radio off so she can better hear her iPod and concentrate on sending text messages over the cellphone. On one occasion, she heard some music on Radio 1045 out of Philly, and was surprised that they were playing music she liked. So now, she listens to both the iPod and the radio in the car.I won't spend a great deal of time on Mr. Todd's comments regarding Rush. It seems he knows little about Limbaugh's performance and apparently doesn't realize that Rush is available two ways on-line--station streams and through his pay webcam service. Nuff said.
More interesting to me is the second comment--especially this: "...surprised that they were playing music she liked...she listens to both the iPod and the radio in the car". If there is one teen who thinks this there must be many more. To me this smells like a marketing and imaging issue. Duh! Among many other things, what has the radio industry virtually eliminated over the last decade? Image marketing!
I am not downplaying the seismic changes that have occurred; to the contrary, anyone who has read this blog knows how many posts I have written on the subject. Our young listener recruitment program has been abysmal and it is likely we have lost an entire generation of potential radio fans to alternative audio platforms. Is their any hope of capturing their attention?
As we quickly approach the end of the first decade of the 21st. century, if we want to attempt to change hearts and minds of those 15 to almost 30 years of age let's start with eliminating music recorded in the 70's, 80's, and the early 90's. They may like some of this music when playing Guitar Hero and in small doses at other times, but let's face the fact that this is NOT their music. We must better understand what they like and develop different ways to entertain them in between the songs.
We can't change what has already taken place, but I think it IS possible to generate some more passion for the medium. The music is just the beginning.
Do you have a strategy?