Radio has a classic bi-modal marketing model. It sells to one, and benefits another. Life insurance is another example, albeit with the mitigating quality of guilt driving the buyer.
The customer of a business is the one who pays the tab. In commercial radio, that is the advertiser. The consumer is the user, and benefits from a free service because the advertiser is paying for the delivery of content as a vehicle for their message.
The content creator does not have a customer. We have users, or listeners. If we make enough of them happy, the other half of this bi-modal model should work. In fact, as I somewhat intuitively knew when I put my first station on the air, it is a lot easier to sell a #1 station that one at the bottom of the stack.
There are lots of things heritage radio operators will have to do to remain viable. That includes obvious things like being easily accessible via new media by way of easy and feature-rich apps. It includes limiting commercial loads to modify the over-commercialized impression many have of radio. And it includes new forms of research to satisfy an increasing fragmented audience. If radio works even harder at things like that, and takes advantage of the highest reach platform in all media, it can continue to be viable because we are not in the tower and transmitter business, we are in the content business.