See here is the thing. If you are in the Radio business you’ve already lost. Radio has no bright future. It’s just a delivery system based on technology. Like any other system it’s going to become dated and eventually set aside for more efficient systems.
I know what you’re thinking “But Ben, I love radio!” You don’t love radio. Nobody loves radio. Except some of those geniuses that actually understand how you can talk in to a microphone and 18 miles away someone else can hear it. Those guys are rare and maybe really love radio. Pay them well they are weird enough to warrant it.
You don’t love radio cause it’s just a delivery system. You know what else? Your listeners don’t love radio either. They love the content it sends them. Content is King. So when some other delivery service shows up and is able to deliver better content just as or more conveniently then radio….well, the King is dead, all hail the new King!
This is why I say Radio is dead. So is Podcasting, Youtube, Spotify, iTunes Radio or whatever delivery system you choose. Smart money is on thinking bigger than that. You need to think of yourself and your company as a Media Company. Media Companies aren’t limited to any one delivery system. As long as you are married to that one delivery system you are limited to a technology that is eventually going to fade away.
Marvel had always been a comic book company. It wrote, printed and distributed some of the greatest super hero stories ever written. It was also about to go bankrupt. Then they did something brilliant. They changed their medium to film. A few years later Disney bought their content for $4 Billion. Same stories and characters that they struggled to make a buck with in comic books are now world famous and raking in millions of dollars every time they are on the screen. They didn’t stop there. There is a network TV show and several shows being developed to be streamed from Netflix. Marvel is now a media company. The world is their oyster as long as they continue to create compelling content and distribute it using delivery systems that people want.
There is a lesson for those of us in the radio industry. Change how we think about what we do. Do we want to sell comic books or are we passionate enough about our characters and stories that we can adapt them to any new delivery system and thrive like Marvel did? I choose to believe the future is bright for Media Companies. Radio…not so much.
WGTS 91.9 — Music Director