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Author Topic: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says  (Read 14427 times)

ZLoth

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Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« on: September 07, 2017, 04:51:34 PM »

From Variety:

Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
Quote
A new study published today by the head of New York University’s Steinhart Music Business Program casts a sobering outlook on the future of terrestrial radio. (Not surprisingly, the National Association of Broadcasters and Nielsen responded to the report; see their responses here.)

In the 30-page report, Larry Miller argues that traditional radio has failed to engage with Generation Z — people born after 1995 — and that its influence and relevance will continue to be subsumed by digital services unless it upgrades.
FULL ARTICLE HERE
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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2017, 05:33:40 PM »

Radio is dead. The industry self-destructed.
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english si

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2017, 06:26:43 PM »

The industry self-destructed.
That's not what I heard - I heard it was murdered by video.

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sparker

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2017, 02:36:03 AM »

There's only two reasons to even listen to "traditional" over-the-air radio:  (1) traffic reports, primarily on network or local AM news stations, and (2) the availability, particularly in urban areas, of college radio stations -- about the only source of good real alternative music (often accompanied by appropriately sarcastic or smarmy DJ's/"broadcasters").  Trouble is you can't pick up most of these without either a cable system that doesn't "trap & sink" FM broadcasts, or a decent outside antenna!  (I'm an admitted luddite about such things, so I use the latter!).
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SP Cook

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2017, 09:04:29 AM »

The death of AM radio has been predicted for longer than I have been alive.  It, and FM whose death predictions started about 10 years ago, will still be going strong long after I am gone. 

Radio keeps reinventing itself.  It seems that mainstream music, the primary but by no means only format that radio, particularly FM, has been in its current (since c. 1970) era is going away.  Other things (sports, talk, politics, Spanish, paid religion, free religion, tourist information, business, non-mainsteam music, who knows) will come along and replace it.

In my area (which is somewhat atypical because Spanish formats are unviable here) recently we have seen migration of traditional AM genres like sports and talk to FM, tourist information, and "urban" stations.  Even have seen some places add a station aimed at children. 

All is if no well, far from awful.

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MikeTheActuary

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2017, 09:53:51 AM »

Broadcast radio is nearly irrelevant outside of disaster situations, but amateur radio is still alive (if admittedly either on life support or transitioning to something new).
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wxfree

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2017, 11:34:38 AM »

I haven't listened at all in years.  About the last 15 minutes of each hour was nothing but commercials, across all of the local stations I listened to.  The ability to carry a massive collection of music, with no commercials or talk in between, makes radio obsolete to me.
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nexus73

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2017, 12:09:13 PM »

Broadcast radio is nearly irrelevant outside of disaster situations, but amateur radio is still alive (if admittedly either on life support or transitioning to something new).

The amount of licensed amateur radio operators in the US is at an all time high.  That number is close to 750K.  Japan is the only nation with more operators and comes in a bit over 1 million.  This is a niche hobby but it is far from dead.  Today is all about niches than masses in any case.

Rick
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vdeane

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2017, 12:51:00 PM »

There's only two reasons to even listen to "traditional" over-the-air radio:  (1) traffic reports, primarily on network or local AM news stations
I'm not so sure about that.  Waze covers that for many people.  Plus the reports aren't all that accurate to begin with.  I've had cases where they've said "really busy" in a location that was practically free-flow, areas with problems missed, etc.  Around here, if they say "traffic slowing down from exit 4 to the twins", it's safe to assume it's actually stop and go as far south as exits 1 or 2.  Even the Thruway advisory radio misses stuff a large amount of the time.
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Brandon

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2017, 01:21:36 PM »

There's only two reasons to even listen to "traditional" over-the-air radio:  (1) traffic reports, primarily on network or local AM news stations

I'm not so sure about that.  Waze covers that for many people.  Plus the reports aren't all that accurate to begin with.  I've had cases where they've said "really busy" in a location that was practically free-flow, areas with problems missed, etc.  Around here, if they say "traffic slowing down from exit 4 to the twins", it's safe to assume it's actually stop and go as far south as exits 1 or 2.  Even the Thruway advisory radio misses stuff a large amount of the time.

Ours (WBBM, AM 780/FM 105.9) is pretty good about that as they get their information pretty much directly from IDOT, ISTHA, and the other agencies in the region.  Just this morning, they had a report about a car versus light pole crash on I-80 just before I-57 just after it was reported to IDOT.  That one stopped up traffic for about 6 miles.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2017, 01:30:43 PM »

I'll listen to radio more often than not.  Even on iHeartRadio I listen to the radio stations there which are broadcasting throughout the country.

Radio in itself isn't going anywhere.  It doesn't have the ratings it used to, they may switch formats on occasion, but it's nearly impossible to find radio stations that have simply been wiped off the dial.

However, I gave up trying to get good traffic reports on the radio.  There's too limited of a time to report on traffic conditions so there's a lot not reported, and what is reported isn't very precise.  A backup of 5 miles could take 10 minutes or 30 minutes to get thru, depending on why that backup exists.  And they're not going to report on minor stuff, such as a traffic light that may take me 4 light cycles to go thru, but by going a few blocks over I can save a few minutes of time. 
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ZLoth

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2017, 01:12:33 AM »

I've given up on terrestrial radio a few years ago. The signal-to-noise ratio is bad with less than 40 minutes of actual content per hour, and a little more than 20 minutes of commercials and fluff. Plus there is a distinct lack-of-variety of stations in Sacramento. The sole classical station only broadcasts classical music during the daytime hours, and there is no local stations that plays 40s or 50s music. The "news reports" on one of the news/talk stations barely has any content. One of the games that the broadcasters play is (for lack of a term) a "Super Commercial" when the same commercial is broadcast at the exact same time on multiple stations, providing almost no escape from that goddamn ad.

When I purchased a new car in 2014, one of the things that I required is a Bluetooth connection, and SiriusXM was a bonus. I only have three Sacramento stations programmed in, and almost never listen to them. Most of the time, I'm listening to XM, pre-recorded music (like movie and game soundtracks) that won't even get airplay, and audiobooks. In other words, content that I control, not some selections that some marketing person thinks I should like.

Traffic reports? Kinda irrelevant to me since there is hardly any alternatives to my route to work, especially since I have to cross over a river as part of my commute. Any alternative routes take too much time. I also rely on my GPS app.

It should be noted that two of the major stations groups, Cumulus Media (currently trading at 39 cents a share) and iHeartMedia (currently trading at $1.32 per share) are currently hovering above bankruptcy having high amount of debt from accumulating too many stations. KGO (AM), when the ownership was changed from ABC to Cumulus, has been decimated over the past few years, and the ratings have tanked.
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Desert Man

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2017, 09:08:51 AM »

In most of Europe (except the UK, southern and eastern parts) as well Russia, AM/ MW & LW are off the air or will be between 2020 and 2023. There was a thread in AA roads on Norway has no FM, they converted to strictly satellite and online streaming. Shortwave is going to disappear, I mean the once globally renowned BBC hasn't been on for awhile. 
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thenetwork

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2017, 11:01:32 AM »

Radio will still remain the norm for remote and rural areas where technology (DSL/4G internet) have yet to make a footprint:  where pertinent information is still reliant on radio.  Think moreso farmers, who are out in the fields with no internet connection all day.  Weather, and even farm reports matter to them, along with the local news.  Or even mountainous areas, where people live "off the grid":  radio is their only window to the outside world.

One of the millions of reasons why radio sucks now is that back a generation or so, radio looked "up" to their listeners -- treating them like a VIP customer at a restaurant because the listeners could easily go elsewhere.  They seemed to speak directly to them as if they were their only listener, they did contests and promotions that were designed to make the listener stay tuned in all day long, they took their calls and responded to requests.  The dj's would do public appearances where listeners would line up to speak/meet/get autographs from them.

Now all you have are stations and jocks (those who remain) who look down on their listeners, reading generic liners with a "phoning-it-in/who really gives a rat's ass" attitude. If you don't like their station and punch in another one, chances are you're still listening to another station from that same company who owns half the stations in town. Contests are uncreative or non-existent.  Nobody (outside of talk radio) takes their calls after the morning show since it's all voicetracked, automated or syndicated after 10AM.  If the DJ's that are left do an appearance, people walk past them as if they are selling and demo-ing AS SEEN ON TV products.

And, although the "payola" scandals of the 50s hit radio pretty hard, it is back in a different form where most of the music that sits in their 100-, 200-, or 300-song "playlists" is from record label bigwigs who "subsidize" some of the station owner's bills (royalties, concert promotions, commercials,...).  Pretty much it is just "invisible" money that goes back and forth between the label and the stations on a daily basis.

But you know that radio is in dire straits when the top of the hour national network news reports' 1st commercial break at 12 Noon ET is for boner pills more times than not.
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MNHighwayMan

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2017, 11:46:30 AM »

The only radio I ever listen to anymore is NPR, and even that's taking a hit. My local affiliate is in their fall pledge drive week and the last hour was just about half programming and half pledge drive crap. Ugh. X-(
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MikeTheActuary

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2017, 01:39:26 PM »

I haven't listened at all in years.  About the last 15 minutes of each hour was nothing but commercials, across all of the local stations I listened to.  The ability to carry a massive collection of music, with no commercials or talk in between, makes radio obsolete to me.

On the US side, the rate of growth in amateur licensees has declined to 1%, with less than half of new licensees estimated to ever get on the air.   The Japanese 1.3 million number is somewhat inflated because operators get multiple licenses (a person who upgraded from Fourth to Third class is counted twice) and stations are licensed separately from operators.

That being said...amateur radio is potentially transitioning rather than dying.  While HOAs and increased noise levels are strangling traditional "make contacts on HF" ham radio, there is a lot of cool stuff happening with makers getting ham tickets to play with remote control, and some interesting experimentation with WiFi like communications happening up in microwave spectrum.

But back to broadcast domestic radio... I think I've listened to a few minutes of local broadcast radio here and there in rental cars when I wanted background noise but didn't want to bother getting my phone hooked up to the car.  Beyond that, I think I last listened to a local broadcast a few years ago during "Snowtober", when much of northern Connecticut was knocked off the grid for a week or two.  Even then, I was listening to WTIC-AM's "media feed" on VHF, rather than their actual broadcast frequency.
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bing101

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2017, 01:51:12 PM »

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hbelkins

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2017, 02:02:40 PM »

As long as the dominant print media outlets in the United States retain their liberal slant, radio will remain viable because that's where the conservative alternative is.
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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2017, 09:16:51 PM »



... 12 Noon ET is for boner pills more times than not.

Lots of money in boner pills..people will gladly pay out of pocket foe boner pills, weight loss pills, cosmetic procedures etc when they can "afford" health insurance.

When you look at the ingredients in non pharmaceutical boner pills they are the same as energy and brain/focus pills.. But boner pills cost more



LGMS428

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The Nature Boy

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2017, 01:55:10 AM »

As long as the dominant print media outlets in the United States retain their liberal slant, radio will remain viable because that's where the conservative alternative is.

Yeah but how viable is print media nowadays?
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jakeroot

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2017, 04:10:43 AM »

As long as the dominant print media outlets in the United States retain their liberal slant, radio will remain viable because that's where the conservative alternative is.

There's six public radio stations in the Seattle area, all of which are predominantly liberal (public radio, after all). The two primary FM talk outlets that aren't public are 97.3 KIRO and 97.7 KOMO. The latter is far more news/weather/traffic than talk, whereas the former is dominated by DJs. The morning crew are split liberal/conservative. The afternoon host is extremely conservative. The late-afternoon/evening drive has two personalities that lean more liberal. Most of the 100% conservative talk is on AM (KTTH-770, and KVI-570). I'm not sure the number of listeners could support either of those two switching to FM, especially in light of the move away from traditional radio. Without [at least AM] radio, their best bet would be podcasts.

tl;dr -- depends on the region. There's far more liberal radio talk up here than conservative talk (and yes, the print media here also leans liberal, but that's been the norm for some time).
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DandyDan

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2017, 06:01:32 AM »

The only 2 situations I ever listen to terrestrial radio anymore are when I want to listen to a specific sporting contest and it's not on SiriusXM and when I am stuck in a drive-thru that faces west (IOW, the building is to the south, which is not optimal for SiriusXM). I suppose there is also the drive thru car wash. I suppose if I were to ever take an interest in the local high school sports scene, that would be a reason, too.
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The Nature Boy

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2017, 08:26:10 PM »

As long as the dominant print media outlets in the United States retain their liberal slant, radio will remain viable because that's where the conservative alternative is.

There's six public radio stations in the Seattle area, all of which are predominantly liberal (public radio, after all). The two primary FM talk outlets that aren't public are 97.3 KIRO and 97.7 KOMO. The latter is far more news/weather/traffic than talk, whereas the former is dominated by DJs. The morning crew are split liberal/conservative. The afternoon host is extremely conservative. The late-afternoon/evening drive has two personalities that lean more liberal. Most of the 100% conservative talk is on AM (KTTH-770, and KVI-570). I'm not sure the number of listeners could support either of those two switching to FM, especially in light of the move away from traditional radio. Without [at least AM] radio, their best bet would be podcasts.

tl;dr -- depends on the region. There's far more liberal radio talk up here than conservative talk (and yes, the print media here also leans liberal, but that's been the norm for some time).

I'll also add that some local newspapers hold a right wing bend, I grew up in a county where this was the case. With the rise of the internet though, I feel like you could find easily the media of your political persuasion online.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2017, 08:45:38 PM by The Nature Boy »
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KeithE4Phx

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2017, 08:28:46 PM »

Broadcast radio is nearly irrelevant outside of disaster situations, but amateur radio is still alive (if admittedly either on life support or transitioning to something new).

The amount of licensed amateur radio operators in the US is at an all time high.  That number is close to 750K.  Japan is the only nation with more operators and comes in a bit over 1 million.  This is a niche hobby but it is far from dead.  Today is all about niches than masses in any case.

Rick

Ham radio is far from dead.  Granted, it's considered an old man's hobby for the most part, but that was the case almost 50 years ago when I was first licensed (I'm WW7KE).  With all these new digital modes appearing over the last few years, I think ham radio has gotten a new lease on life, at least on the HF bands, which are in no danger of being taken over by the cellphone companies.
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bandit957

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Re: Traditional Radio Faces a Grim Future, New Study Says
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2017, 09:16:50 PM »

I'll also add that some local newspapers hold a right wing bend, I grew up in a county where this was the case. With the rise of the internet though, I feel like you could find easily the media of your political persuasion online.

I remember both of the daily newspapers in Cincinnati being very, very right-wing. Now there's only one paper remaining.
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