This is the contention of a recent Borell report on the future of media. Here’s the slide from their deck.
As someone who has spent over three decades in the industry, this is, um, distressing. Is it possible?
If you ask me, yeah, it’s possible–if the industry stays the same as it is today. It needs to evolve with technology and the demands people have for music, entertainment and information. Radio consultant Mark Ramsey picks up the thread.
The knee-jerk response to this for folks in the industry is to reject it out of hand. But let’s look closer with an open mind.
First, the premise here – and this is something I have stressed for some time – is that a more “complete” and compelling car dashboard is unavoidable and radio’s “proper place” on that car dashboard is whatever the consumer says it is – in other words, radio will be as important as what’s on the radio.
Ideally, that means broadcasters invest in new kinds of unique and compelling content that’s “must hear” and “must find.” But is this too hopeful and optimistic?
Let’s imagine that ideal doesn’t materialize and what we hear today is pretty much what we’re gonna hear in the years to come.
Under that scenario, when new options blossom on the dashboard with new value propositions and attractions, radio, by comparison, will be “consistently consistent” and unexciting by comparison. Not bad, just unexciting.
In other words, radio will, for some portion of the audience, be marginalized. And that marginalization will cost listening hours. And those listening hours will be connected to ad dollars. And the stations most hurt by this evolution will be those most vulnerable already. Indeed, signals are already flickering out across the land, and there will certainly be more to come.