Radio and Its Stations of the God
|"If anyone in the radio industry needs a little jolt, remember the "Music of Your Life" format and how its audience disappeared through attrition."||My wife and I started talking. (She's a 17-year veteran of WMMS, a well-known Cleveland rock-n-roll radio station of the 70s and 80s - "The Buzzard"). Both of us wondered how a beach walk could go from once hearing several radio stations in an industry battle on the beach, when nearly everyone by the water had a radio and stations like WMMS offered a reminder slug line of "It's time to turn, so you won't burn," to only one radio with its volume turned somewhat low.|
Perhaps the answer has something to do with what radio is offering today. So I visited the Arbitron's "Radio Today 2011" report just to get a feel for what radio industry formats are left to do battle today. I found quite a surprise.
We know older folks are still in tune with radio. This quote comes from Talk Radio WHKY's media kit, sourced to Scarborough Research: "The median age of listeners is 52, and almost a quarter (24 percent) of News/Talk listeners are ages 45-54. Adults between the ages of 55 and 64 are 47 percent more likely to listen to the [talk] format and seniors 65+ are 50 percent more likely to tune in."
Arbitron confirms radio's audience being older, as reported by Joel Denver's "All Access" (Feb. 2011): "Arbitron Reports Radio's Median Age Is Still 42 Years Old."
What's left for the radio industry? Here are the formats remaining on the Arbitron list after removal of what I consider "faith-based," "upper-end demo" and "specialty formats."
Those who want radio to remain strong, to be carried into the next generation, need to look at the above numbers and start drawing up a plan. They are a long way from having a battle of radios on a beach, where every blanket has a boombox or transistor, and each is cranking up the volume.
If this high a percentage of stations is devoted to serving a faith-based audience (and I'm only "supposing" this as an answer), is it possible that the radio industry has quit serving youth in a way that drives a battle of radios?
If anyone in the radio industry needs a little jolt, remember the "Music of Your Life" format and how its audience disappeared through attrition. Which is why it's important to consider whether the radio industry is turning into a pulpit, or grandstands for people over 40. That would explain a lot because the vast majority of people on the beach that I saw were under 42 and didn't appear to be looking to the heavens to end the heat wave.
Most of the people were youth, just out for a day at the beach and listening to nothing!
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