December 1, 2015

Publishers' Notes


Subscribe To Daily  Headlines

Streamline Press

Industry Q&A

Radio Revenue

Market Profile

Calendar of Events

Reader Feedback


About Us

Contact Us





01/30/06 Bringing People Together With Radio

Traditional media is hurting. Television viewership is dropping. Newspapers are enduring serious losses. Magazine readership is declining. Radio is suffering decreased listenership.

Meanwhile Google, which is less than 10 years old, soared from $4 billion to $16 billion in sales last year. Radio did a total of $19 billion. Google is expected to exceed radio, television, and newspaper revenues combined. This is a serious wake-up call for all push media. Radio has an opportunity to be the one traditional medium that remains relevant. That opportunity lies in our ability to relate to our community and social networks.

In Los Angeles, a recent study conducted by the Southern California Broadcasters Association shows that people don't know their neighbors, and most are so busy and so disconnected that they lack meaningful friendships. Most in the study claim that radio connects them with others through content and events. Community has always been radio's biggest strength, though many stations have abandoned their biggest strengths with expense cuts.

Radio must enhance its community presence. This can be achieved by increasing listener bonds through more events and social software that tie our stations to the varied but common interests of our listeners. Social interaction has become the most promising aspect of Internet connectivity. Websites such as myspace.com, flickr.com, del.icio.us, and orkut.com bring strangers together for social interactions. They offer people the ability to find others with common interests and common thoughts worldwide.

These communities allow people to be transparent in an anonymous space. Users practice groupthink based on interests that link them: music, fashion, politics, sports, lifestyle, hobbies, etc. The shared worldview influences those within the group so much that the suggestions of others in the group are considered personal recommendations. This two-way interaction is much more powerful than one-way messages pushed to consumers. Radio must seek ways to become a part of this social interaction and combine it with opportunities for these communities to meet off line. Radio can be the catalyst of social change in our local communities.

Radio also must be tuned in to the way social interaction online changes the response to advertising. People in “meatspace” (the social part of cyberspace) communicate instantly about all things. This interaction is the new marketing opportunity (and nightmare), influencing feelings about products and businesses. For instance, in recent years a bad movie would continue to sell because of hype and promotion, taking a few weeks for the bad word to spread. Today, weblogs and social networks push the word to their communities within minutes of the premiere, and bad films are dead as soon as they launch. This will soon be true of all products, and will impact the way advertising is used, as well as how people react to it.

People desperately want to belong, to be connected. The Internet offers wonderful opportunities. Radio, too, can help consumers belong. It's always been our strength, and we must return to our strength in ways relevant to the new world in which we live.

Comment on this story

  From the Publisher 

<P> </P>