What Will Happen to Radio?I think that corporate radio needs to realize that their audience can’t simply be pigeonholed into the few standard formats that they typically support. With the rise of the internet and the continued diversification of popular music, there’s now a whole new generation of music fans who’ve cast off radio, simply since they don’t play what they want to hear! Diversity in radio is not a bad thing, and the homogenization of the airwaves alienates a lot of people. Just as the music industry in general needs to deal with the reality of the internet age, radio does as well. More and more people are now looking for more than just the same spoon-fed crap that most radio provides, since more and more people now have easier access to it and know that it exists. Also, it seems like American corporate radio has forgotten the value of the taste-maker DJ; its rare to find on major stations any DJs that are allowed to play what they personally want to hear, as used to be common. It’s obvious that the few celebrity DJs left (Ryan Seacrest and his ilk) are being told what to play, since it’s the same thing you hear everywhere else. Maybe corporate radio should look to how things are done in the UK, where a vast number of taste-maker DJs still dominate the airwaves and a much wider range of music is played commercially. The fact that we’ve survived this long and have seen things move in the right direction despite heavy odds gives us big reason for hope. There’s still a lot of good will out there towards WGPA; many simply don’t even know that we’re on the internet. We get lots of love from listeners from around the world who’ve never even heard of us, yet love what we’re doing and have no prejudices based on what we used to be. Our major obstacle is accessibility; as it gets easier to get online away from a computer, internet radio will only grow.
Not everyone has the time or the energy to dig and dig for the most cutting edge music, so radio will continue to exist as a practicality. The question isn’t so much whether radio will continue to exist, but rather what the medium will be. I feel like a lot of people are hopping on the bash radio bandwagon and I’m really not buying it. I still catch myself on long road trips always going back to the radio for the personal connection that you can’t get from your MP3, iPod, Satellite, etc. As much as we think we can take the human aspect out of so many parts of our lives and be cool with it, I think we innately still want to have that contact and connection to someone playing our favorite songs and or local programing, I think it will always come back to that! It’s already evolving with the evolution of Twitter, Facebook, and all of the other social networking options. It’s opened up a whole new world for everyone, especially media outlets. It’s bridged a lot of gaps that radio has had in the past in regard to connecting with listeners. Listeners get a peekbehind the curtain which never happened in the past. Something that I’ve always admired about WGPA SUNNY 1100 AM is taking the time to really understand what our listeners like in terms of music, and working really hard to bring them a lot of variation, including local business and sports! I’ve always admired that the people in charge, including myself care about whats getting played and will play what’s actually GOOD as opposed to what is in the Top 40 and gets the most rotation. Search the radio stations around the country and you won’t find many stations that play the depth of what we play, and all of the local flavor that exists. It’s really a gem and I hope people know that. I know I’m biased, but I also really believe it and can speak from experience!
There is no harm in giving us a try on your home radio, around the valley, across the Nation and around the World! Thanx again, Richard ! On Twitter ~ https://twitter.com/rmindler