I’m often amazed at how unwilling the radio industry appears to be to embrace the obvious opportunities that sit right in front of us in the new media sphere.
Seth Godin’s latest – “When Culture Gets Stuck” gives as good of an explanation as any for the reason why people resist change.
Once something makes its way to the mass market, the mass market doesn’t want it to change. And once it moves from that big hump in the middle of the market to become a class, the market doesn’t just want it to not change, they insist.
Radio -as a very mature industry – is notorious for needing all kinds of supporting research for making any kind of move away from “what we know works”. Personally – it’s the most unfortunate thing about radio.
Inside most fields, we see pitched battles between a few people who want serious change to reinvigorate the genre they love–and the masses, who won’t tolerate change of any kind.
History has shown us that the answer is crystal clear: if you want change, you’ve got to leave. Change comes, almost always, from the outside.
The people who reinvented music, food, technology and politics have always gone outside the existing dominant channels to create something new and vital and important.
So where is outside of radio?
Satellite is one.
We spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing over the Satcasters – but when we look at what they’re doing – they’re trying to change things – to make new things – the kind of things that simply are not possible in the terrestrial radio world. That frightens lots of people. Unnecessarily in my view. They see the world as “either-or”.
I’ve always thought there was a place for the Satcasters in the audio entertainment world. Along with mp3 players internet streams etc..
There should be way more minds trying more things in different ways in the sphere of audio entertainment than commercial radio alone.
Commercial radio operates 1 way. That’s not going to change much. But that doesn’t mean it’s the ONLY way radio can be performed.
And it shouldn’t be the only way either. Not anymore.
That’s why I often applaud efforts by the satcasters and internet radio who are trying new things – who are using their imagination to do things differently and why I get so frustrated with commercial radio people who think there’s only 1 way to do radio and scoff, mock or fear alternative approaches.
I believe the competition is good for radio. It’s already making radio better.