The radio industry

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The papers selected for this topic are: “James Cridland’s Future of broadcasting” and “Next radio in the very early stages.” The first paper, written by James Cridland, analyzes the usage of classical radio in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia by a compilation of news articles on the topic. Cridland argues that “old boring radio is still solid…” In the United States, and that the makers of the younger, more exciting radio-Pandora are causing losses and searching for a buyer, even if the prevalence of conventional radio in Australia and the United Kingdom is not as obvious (Cridland, 2017). These statements are supported by research, which shows that broadcast radio is still the most popular means through which radio is consumed in the United States. The report states that roughly sixty-three percent of all music fans use conventional radios the most for discovering new music. This doesn’t mean alternate forms radio consumption aren’t enjoying a rise in popularity, it essentially means that AM/FM wireless receivers are still common among the population. Although younger consumers typically prefer advanced technology, the conventional means of discovering new music such as word of mouth and discovery remain strong drivers. Findings from the pew research center show that the number of individuals who listened to FM/AM radio remained constant over a ten year period. This trend is also present in other countries. Ofcom, which is the UK’s regulatory body for telecommunications and broadcasting recently, published a digital lab report, which showed that the market still preferred FM radios to receivers, which came with digital audio broadcasting enabled.

The second article, written by Brad Hill, is titled next Radio in “very early stages.” addresses the notion that NextRadio is the direction that the radio industry will take in the future. In essence, next radio is a tuner for smartphones introduced in 2013 with improved interactivity on screen. In this article, Jeff Smulyan proposes that this development could replace conventional radio once phone manufacturers agree to activate the dormant FM chips present in the smartphones they sell (Hill, 2017). He also argues that the application has many strong points such as data and power savings and better reception in comparison to streaming. However, Smulyan also acknowledges that NextRadio is still in the early stages of development, implying that the widespread use of this product could delay for a while. These concerns are reflected in reactions to the slow adoption of digital audio broadcasting and the continued popularity of traditional radio. Although it is generally believed that digitization results in the death of analog predecessors, this may not be the case, as observed in the radio industry. This exception may arise from the fact that radio is the oldest form of mass media communication. It was the first form of social media in the sense that it allowed people to interact and express ideas in their community. This could explain the longevity and distinctiveness of the tool. In view of this, it may be expected that analog and digital radio will continue to grow simultaneously. Until wifi and 3G achieve uniform coverage and reliability, the radio may continue to be a preference for most consumers, particularly those living in rural areas. Traditional radio has been a part of human society for a considerably long period and has been incorporated into the daily culture. The transition from such an established mass media would require a long period.

References

Brad Hill. (2017). Emmis’ Smulyan: NextRadio in “very early stages”. RAINNEWS: http://rainnews.com

James Cridland. (2017). James Cridland’s Future of Radio: FM-only radio sets to be made illegal; streaming music use increases in Canada, and is Pandora in trouble?: RAINNEWS; http://rainnews.com

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