Radio -- Reports of Its Demise Exaggerated

Ever since TV came on the scene, people have expected radio to bow out. There have been times when it looked as though that was what would happen. But each time, radio has come back. Perhaps because we spend so much time in cars commuting to and from work and because radio talk shows have become increasingly popular, it may never go away, even though the technology is primitive by today’s standards.

Ever since TV came on the scene, people have expected radio to bow out.  There have been times when it looked as though that was what would happen.  But each time, radio has come back.  Perhaps because we spend so much time in cars commuting to and from work and because radio talk shows have become increasingly popular, it may never go away, even though the technology is primitive by today’s standards.   

Increasingly, however, many are betting that radio is not here to stay and that within the next five to ten years, it will be in museums but not in cars and homes.  It is, simply, an old technology, they say, and the writing is on the wall.  With the advent of pod casting and new forms of viewing and listening, many of which can now go into cars or finely select desired content, radio’s place is at best uncertain. 

 

A recent study indicated that there has been a considerable consolidation within the industry, with fewer and fewer independent stations.  Listeners have also dropped almost 7% in the last decade.  But advertising rates on radio have increased almost 200% in the decade.  This rate increase is far more important than a drop in listeners.  It suggests that people still find radio a very good way to reach people – not just numbers,  but those who are in a position to buy.    

 

Radio is just too comfortable, and the people in it too creative.  I bet that it will be here for a very long time.  It is a technology that gives us all a chance, actually, to get away from high technology; it is a technology (like a book) that feels good and that we have come to respect.

  

Max Lubetkin
Max Lubetkin: Max is BestCashCow's entertainment and specialty writer. He is a recent Dartmouth graduate and a forever fan of Big Green!

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Comments

  • Dave

    August 07, 2007

    It's not clear to me what the material difference is between radio and podcasting. Both are audio experiences. I guess one is simulcast and other isn't? Does the difference matter and should you be asking is audio listening going to go away?

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