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Radio vs. Radio

21 December 2018

Big Radio is feeling the heat again about their failure to evolve. This time though – it’s coming from radio itself, namely smaller stations. It appears that after another challenging year, many in radio are rethinking their industry’s approach, and the value of radio itself.

Modernizing radio in today’s constantly shifting music environment will not be easy. The ubiquity of music streaming services now gives listeners more freedom and choice in their music-listening experience than ever before. And while these services have grown to dominate the music industry, radio has stayed the same. Exactly the same.

Instead of innovating to provide consumers with more listening options like the rest of the industry, Big Radio believes that consolidation of local radio stations is the solution. Tom Langmyer, President & CEO of the Great Lakes Media Corporation says that’s wrong. Langmyer wrote a blog post this week that the push for the consolidation of local radio stations by larger radio conglomerates is threatening the industry’s future and letting down local communities.  He wrote:

“There are currently some major local radio institutions in big cities that are sitting ducks, just waiting to be further marginalized and warehoused by large conglomerates. Some familiar big-signaled, beloved, local giants are ripe for the picking to simply be used as relays to clear national syndication which is produced by those huge parent companies.”

Another [former] radio executive, Peter Smyth,  wrote in Radio Ink that the industry must reconsider its business model or risk being left behind:

“In the era of hyper-individualized choice, radio’s offerings creak under the weight not only of its debt structure, but also its accumulated history. Much like our brethren in television, we are being whipsawed by an expanding universe of consumer choices…We are at an inflection point that demands a more radical approach.”

Based on these viewpoints, we ask the same question as Mr. Langmyer did by ending his blog: “Investors, broadcasters and local direct-sellers, are you listening?!”

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