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Thread: Radio Is Dead? Really? What are we really saying?

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Avid Listener View Post
    You use Sirius as an example, but that's missing the point. It will be the combined impact of all satellite formats, plus the effects of streaming internet-to-go, plus the effects of easier to use personal music library play-back systems, plus whatever additional new technologies that come along that will collectively, as a group, gang up on and beat terrestrial radio into a feeble, bloody pulp. It won't be dead, but it will be a feeble shadow of its former self.

    Or, they are like me, who used to look forward to listening to the radio and who now regrets the loss of one of his favorite entertainment media because it has turned from something "lively" into something that's more like a wax replica of something alive. Calling radio "dead" is usually hyperbole. The more apt comparison is comparing a bowl of real fruit or flowers into a bowl of plastic replicas of fruit or flowers. Radio used to be "live", now it's "fake".
    You do know that most of the satellite radio music programming is hosted with voice tracks? To that point.. The most recent statistics I've seen (I believe it was from BMI) show combined satellite radio (which started in the 90's) peaked at less than 3% of total 'radio' listening and is holding right around <1.3%. Ironically it appears that Pandora, Slacker, etc. have actually cannibalized more from satellite radio listening than terrestrial radio. David may have more current statistics, but suffice it to say that neither satellite nor streaming combined, has taken much of a bite out of traditional radio listening, even considering satellite radio has been going for over 15 years.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly A View Post
    David may have more current statistics, but suffice it to say that neither satellite nor streaming combined, has taken much of a bite out of traditional radio listening, even considering satellite radio has been going for over 15 years.
    I don't have statistics I can fully trust.

    Satellite: only measured indirectly as a product of omnibus media usage surveys, and generally without quantification of time spent listening and no information on which channels are more popular. Sirius / XM does its own research to inquire among users about channel usage, satisfaction, etc., but it is proprietary.

    Streams: inadequately measured by Nielsen for streaming station usage, but generally does not pick up most smartphone / tablet listening. The "ratings" based on session starts and concurrent sessions are not directly comparable to radio ratings, and brings up an "apples to oranges" comparison.

    Radio: the best measured of the three, but with the difference that streams and satellite are national and radio ratings are not. Add in that large parts of the US are not measured (save by the annual county coverage survey) and the fact that radio stations are local and make no pretense of being national, and you have a hard time comparing OTA radio with the rest.

    There are 250 million cars and trucks in the US. About 25 million have satellite, but that includes "free subscriptions" that may or may not be listened to. That's only 10% of all vehicles; with in-car being about a third of radio usage, that means that even if all in-car time was given to satellite listening the total national share might be around 3%. So, since not all time in the car is spent with satellite, your figure around 1.3% looks to be as good an estimate as any.
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  3. #23

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    I might see what is happening here. Being on the air so many years, I found liking, then hating and finally being entirely numb to the songs I played over and over and over. If you worked Top 40, you know what I mean. I have always been a person that enjoyed almost all types of music and my top 40 jocking days even made my quest for 'different' music more intense. But that's me. And it might be Avid Listener too. It might be we really love music and exploring what is not always heard on radio. I have to remind myself that I do not utilize music like the average music listener/radio listener. Unfortunately those of us where music is so important are in the minority. It takes a pretty huge population base to gather enough of us to make a dent in the ratings if a station played what we might want to hear.

    My Dad might be pretty a-typical. On one visit he had a station on the radio in the car playing 1960s and 1970s top 40 hits. He hadn't made the connection that this was the stuff he couldn't stand when I was growing up. I asked him what he liked about the station. He simply said he didn't like a few of the songs but they were all familiar and comfortable, so he liked the station. I thought that was quite revealing especially given the fact he was a fan of beautiful music and then switched to country. Now the stuff he listens to used to 'rattle his nerves' back in the day.

  4. #24

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    I might add that in my research the internet only station is struggling to get listeners compared to over the air radio stations that stream. While neither have impressive numbers at the moment when compared to over the air listening numbers, the real winners in streaming are the over the air radio stations that stream. Even colleges where the only dedicated listening choice is online have dismal numbers even with plenty of good marketing. By dedicated listening choice, I mean colleges without an over the air station, an audio channel on cable TV or a leaky cable radio station but simply an online only streaming station.

    For example, KAMP reports only 28.9% of their listeners go online to hear the station while the 71.1% tune to the TV channel that carries the audio. KAMP complains most do not listen at all (only 1,150 in total out of 40,000+ students). One college of over 11,000 had just over 900 total clicks in one calendar month with ample promotion among the student body. Another college with only an online streaming station complained only about 1 in 200 students regularly listen. Quite frankly, I was shocked to see these low numbers. Figuring the demographics and how well targeted these stations are, I expected many more would be tuning in.

    I do concede that professionalism, content and effective marketing may be factors. After all it is painful to listen to some of the DJs and too frequently the music is very left field and varies widely show to show. With that said, the examples I noted above seemed to not suffer from these issues as much as most do. I tuned in one station online at a small college and it said how many were listening. I was one of three tuned to the show. That would be pretty depressing.

    One former manager of a college station told me he was real excited about the new location of the station. It would be in a resident hall with 200 more people and their door opened to a common area where students would congregate. He instructed his jocks to keep the door open and monitor up so new people would discover the station. This same manager had a show for 3 years on the station and said he never got one phone call even though he frequently welcomed requests. Draw your own conclusions but for me, it appears the online winning steamers are not the online only stations.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by b-turner View Post

    One former manager of a college station told me he was real excited about the new location of the station. It would be in a resident hall with 200 more people and their door opened to a common area where students would congregate.
    It's interesting that several major colleges, including Vanderbilt and Rice, have sold their OTA radio stations, claiming that students "prefer online radio stations." As a result, those colleges now have internet only stations for students. I imagine their listenership is about what you've experienced.

  6. #26

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    I know there was a big stink about KTRU at Rice University selling to KUHF and switching to classical but that quickly died off, perhaps by KTRU's stream being carried on an HD channel as well as online.

    In Nashville, I read where Vanderbilt estimated a weekly cume of 300 for their student run station.

    The question is whether it is the programming or the fact it was over the air radio. I suspect the former. Was student driven radio too plain vanilla? Was it so many were listening online that the over the air signal reached so few it no longer mattered? Neither explain the content subject. If the under 25 ignore broadcast radio because radio does not cater to them then why does radio that caters to them fail to attract an audience? Is it that student driven radio is too out there for the masses of students?

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by b-turner View Post
    Was student driven radio too plain vanilla?
    The station was mainly non-student community volunteers and alumni playing whatever they liked from their own record collections. Anything BUT vanilla. I think the University sold it because they felt they had better use for the student activity money. The point is they have much fewer listeners now as an online station.

  8. #28

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    A board largely populated with bitter ex-DJs is by no means representative of the entire population. I get that ex DJs are rooting for corporate radio to fail, the last OTA tower to be chopped down, and the entire population listening to guys in their basement playing obscure indie bands or 10,000 B-sides from the 1960s. Not happening, folks. Even if the towers come down and we figure out how to transfer every last OTA listener (including those who only have internet access through prepaid feature phones) to internet streaming, the bigger companies will dominate and very few will hear our guy with all the vinyl in his basement. Verizon, Comcast, TimeWarner, AT&T or whoever will see to that.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly A View Post
    You do know that most of the satellite radio music programming is hosted with voice tracks?
    That's why my choice leans towards playing my own personal collection of music. The thing is, if regular radio loses a little bit here, a little bit there, a little bit somewhere else, and those "little bits" keep increasing, especially among younger listeners, and pretty soon they all add up. But then that's been the standard excuse every time a thread like this comes along. Those with a vested interest in the status quo almost always keep pointing out that regular radio is still currently #1, while ignoring the fact that at the rate things are going, it will still be #1, yet come in a distant second to all of the other alternative media combined.

    Quote Originally Posted by gr8oldies View Post
    A board largely populated with bitter ex-DJs is by no means representative of the entire population. I get that ex DJs are rooting for corporate radio to fail, the last OTA tower to be chopped down, and the entire population listening to guys in their basement playing obscure indie bands or 10,000 B-sides from the 1960s. Not happening, folks. Even if the towers come down and we figure out how to transfer every last OTA listener (including those who only have internet access through prepaid feature phones) to internet streaming, the bigger companies will dominate and very few will hear our guy with all the vinyl in his basement. Verizon, Comcast, TimeWarner, AT&T or whoever will see to that.
    But even though they might dominate owning the channel, they won't dominate deciding what is transmitted. They'll simply collect their tariff for using their electronic highway, regardless of who is using it.
    Last edited by Avid Listener; 01-06-2015 at 01:34 AM.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Avid Listener View Post
    But even though they might dominate owning the channel, they won't dominate deciding what is transmitted. They'll simply collect their tariff for using their electronic highway, regardless of who is using it.
    Maybe. There's no law saying they can't decide what's being transmitted, is there? Just the experience that so far, they haven't. At one time, TV networks were prohibited from producing and owning the shows they aired. But if you're a company that owns the highway, wouldn't you want to have some influence over what's going over that highway? They've already tried to impose additional fees on speed and usage, above and beyond the basic tariff.

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