Hello, and thank you for visiting my blog once again. The following article is just my point of view, based on my imagination and only personal prediction of radio future in next few decades.
Did video kill the radio star? No, it didn’t. Is radio dead? No, it isn’t. Will it be dead soon? No, it won’t. So, will the radio ever be dead?
No, I cannot imagine that, as long as we drive our personal vehicles.
The way of radio program distribution will be changed very soon, and that is something what I can bet on. Maybe FM will be abandoned sooner than we thought, maybe not. But it will be. That depends on car manufacturers (and big radio networks). I will explain later why.
I have heard many times that Spotify/Deezer/Apple music will kill the radio, and to be honest, I haven’t noticed the significant fall of radio ratings. Au contraire, radio is experiencing its very own renaissance. Everybody listens to the radio. Even so famous Millenials listen to the radio. Like they watch TV. The beauty of new age we live in, is that we have many more choices. My kids listen to the radio, and they watch YouTube. And they watch TV program. Let’s be honest, we all watch TV and listen to the radio. We have many choices of content delivery, but «traditional» media still has its huge space in our lifes. The content is the king and it will be forever (I guess you might have heard this several times).
The «media» is just content delivery channel – TV (terrestrial, satellite, PPV/online,…), radio (FM/AM, web), print (newspapers, magazines,…), social networks, portals.
There was one huge topic I’ve heard of, and it was about one big, global (online) radio. I was right with my predictions – the global radio cannot survive. At least, not in that way it was imagined-one global studio, with famous DJ, with global playlist. The radio needs to be local. And live radio will always be local. There is no possibility that a DJ in New York, no matter how famous he is, could talk about traffic in Belgrade – he might attract listeners from Serbia, but in that case, he would lose all listeners from the rest of the world.
Radio will evolve along with the technology, and this is how I imagine the future of radio. The technology must be changed in the first place. But how?
People listen to the radio in their cars.
Ok, this is not the future, this is now and it is a fact. And another fact, which confirms that we have and will have more listeners, is growing number of cars sold worldwide (source statista).
The biggest car manufacturers will be most responsible for radio evolution, along with big radio station networks, because they have funds to invest into innovation, and they must (and will, for sure) develop new technologies that will improve radio program. I think that we have a huge potential to connect the listener in his car with his favorite station, and to automate data flow in both directions.
Imagine if the car could send current traffic information to the station, and if the station could geotarget listeners in specific area. The driver just needs to click “OK” when he sees “Radio Network Would Like to Access the Dash Camera-OK/Don’t Allow”. Wouldn’t it be great? As a listener, you would get really accurate informations about traffic in your area, and your favorite station wouldn’t bother you about traffic in some other city. You could choose what kind of content you get between your favorite songs. When you start the engine, just check news, weather, traffic or weather, entertainment and your station gives you all desired content before your arrival. You can always change your preferences by checking something else. Who said podcasts?
Furthermore, the stations could get most valuable data from listeners – the music research. Stations could become almost perfectly personalised. And it will still be the radio. Why? Because of the content, which must be prepared and presented by radio people. That is something that we cannot automate in near future, there is no AI that can replace real human DJ.
New way of content delivery could bring many choices to the listener. He could choose his station according to the current mood, desired type of music, and content in the first place. That could lead us in future to FTL (free to listen) i PPL (pay per listen) channels, or «premium stations» with no commercials – but listeners must pay a subscription in order to get perfectly balanced station.
In the end, I want you to thank for the time spent to read this and remember that this was only my point of view, and I would really like to read your opinion about this topic.
For further reading, I suggest you to check few words about radio, and how should you treat your station.
What do you think about the future of the radio? Feel free to leave a comment.