Was it actually social media that killed the radio star?

Credit: Adobe stock photo

Do you still listen to the radio? The industry I’ve worked in for the last 18 years has gone through a massive transformation in the last decade especially. At one time radio was your first stop when looking for breaking news or immediate answers, that was the excitement of it from the perspective of the voice behind the mic. As a listener, if you got stuck in a traffic jam you’d tune in to find out what was going on or tune in if you wanted a weather update or to hear about news in your area, I even remember tuning in just to find out what time it was on my way in to work some mornings. Now, peoples first instinct is to seek those answers online, and why not? It’s truly immediate. You can find the forecast, traffic reports, information on news and events in your area even the time exactly as you want it, you don’t even have to wait for the song to end and the DJ to hopefully deliver you the information you were looking for, it’s all at your fingertips. Even the music you want to hear is on your personal playlist anytime you want it. You don’t have to hear 4 songs in a row that you can’t stand just to get to that new one you love.

Radio stations still have an important role as information providers in communities but the online platforms are just as important now as the on air product. I feel like most people who still listen to radio do so in the car but once the AM/FM radio isn’t a standard feature how many people will be tuning in? There are a lot of up hill battles for the industry and while many will defend it’s likelihood of continued existence I’m struggling to see how. In fact this article from digitalmusicnews.com explains exactly how many hurdles the industry is facing at the moment and in my opinion shows a more realistic analysis than some I’ve seen from within the industry itself.

With so many sources for music and news/information and the compatibility for those sources with services like Apple Carplay and smart speakers for your home or office, why would you need anything else? Unless you love listening to 5 minute blocks of commercials of course.

I’m curious to hear from you, what’s your take on this topic? Are you a loyal radio listener? Or do you think it’s on the verge of extinction?

Facebook: Did social media kill the radio star? Some of us think so. Click here for the full story.

Twitter: Social media to blame for radio struggles? #Didnthelp https://bit.ly/2BSWDEK

6 thoughts on “Was it actually social media that killed the radio star?

  1. Hey,
    You mentioning the AM/FM radio in the car as “not standard” made me remember how I was somewhat muscled into taking the satellite radio via sirius xm. I don’t know if you have even used this service or tried to cancel it but if you do I can tell you, they will slash their rates at the mention of a cancel. I think this has become a home for many DJs and VJs, but obviously because of the extensive reach there is nothing ‘local’ about it and the number of employees for the area covered is small. I personally don’t know where the future of radio is going, but part of me thinks there will be a rise in people wanting to maintain the retro feel of the radio, as there is with records and other things people said will no longer have a place. It would be interesting if licensing for radio could lend itself more to the private sector, now that pod casts are everywhere and not regulated it seems kind of backwards.

    Great read and got me thinking, thanks 🙂

    • Thanks for the feedback, I also feel people may crave the local retro feel of radio, I find it a special and unique medium that will always have a place but only time will tell how it transforms I guess 🙂

  2. Hey Lindsey,
    I am absolutely an avid radio listener!! But I can appreciate how much the industry has had to change in order to accomodate social media’s presence, and how much it will likely continue needing to change. Which truly makes me sad for all those commutes, long drives, and times when the radio can change our outlook on the day. Canada has CBC which united the nation together when radio became a common everyday aspect to many peoples living. I would hate to see the thing that united the nation together to suddenly be lost forever. I think maybe we might move into a time when radio shows become more like podcasts, since those are so popular now as well. Rather than listen to the radio every morning on your way to work, listen to a podcast which includes talk radio and music might be the way of that this industry needs to move forward.
    Thanks for sharing your notes and thoughts on the topic!

  3. Hello,

    I really enjoyed your post! I must admit I’m still an avid radio listener in a car, especially mine, which is from another decade. Perhaps the lack of newer technology in my vehicle has forced my hand, but I do enjoy the banter of radio station hosts and being introduced to a song I otherwise wouldn’t have found online.

    I’m curious if in your profession you see a large listenership online? Most radio stations these days have mobile applications and an online presence where you can tune in. Are these well received?

    • There is an audience online and through apps but I wouldn’t call them large listenerships (depends on the market and station). I feel like these days with a handful of companies owning the majority of stations there are little unique qualities left at most stations. To save money many of the major players have cut live shows from smaller markets and syndicated shows out from the larger markets, that seems to be a trend that will only continue. In my opinion doing that takes away from the authentic local experience of listening to a hometown radio station, and the fact that playlists are also be synchronized all the stations are sounding the same which to me gives little motivation to seek one out online or through the app. Unless something changes I don`t see the numbers increasing at all.

  4. I do think that radio industry has changed but I still listen to the radio every morning to listen to the local news and some tunes before I head to work. It is also easier for me to just start up my car and go without having to hook up my music from my phone which can also be a distraction while driving. Listening to the radio might not be what it used to be like but I don’t think it will ever die out 🙂

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