It's hard to turn a blind eye (or ear) to how bad things allegedly are in radio. Each time an article or stat is published, radio's inclination is to add another line to its eulogy. The truth is that radio gets stuck because it perpetually has to learn how to share with every new medium that comes along. Radio has lasted so long because it eventually it adapts.
People listen to the radio - just not like they used to.
Next time you are presented with the latest bad news, read these five amazing things about radio:
1. According to the latest Audio Fact sheet from Pew Research Center, 91 percent of (American) people 12 years old and older tuned in to radio it last week: That's more people than Facebook. You have probably also seen that since 2010, online listening has grown immensely. Good news - your station is online. Know what else? It was "wireless" long before mobile phones were. So go get a piece of the pie.
2. Radio is still the GO-TO medium when the the power goes out. When hurricane Sandy landed in New York, people turned to radio for information. From the New York Daily News article in the days after the hurricane:
“If everything else is gone, people still have a radio,” says Tim Scheld, news director at WCBS-AM. “It’s not just information. It’s a connection. Even music provides companionship and a sense of calm.”
3. After the purchase of a radio and some electricity to power it - Radio is free for the listener: Yes this is a big deal. It's not easy being Spotify these days. They have to get people to pay for their product only to be told you cannot hear Taylor Swift. Apple raised the price of each song to a $1.29 a few years ago. The cost of hearing a song on terrestrial radio hasn't changed since... Ever. When the listener uses their phone to stream anything - including a terrestrial radio station - they have to pay for it. They do not do it as much because they know it.
4. Radio is a more powerful medium than whatever you're being told is taking your listeners: This goes back to it being free. It draws complaints about its content because it has personalities that have relationships with the audience. When these relationships are compromised, it causes an emotional reaction towards the personality or radio station. They complain about the product which is... free. Most people don't even complain about things they purchase. Ever notice that people stopped talking about Howard Stern once people had to pay for it?
5. It takes one click to turn on a radio: Ever see how long it takes you to boot up your computer, get online, logon, surf to your music source and then listen? Longer than a song. Recent studies show you do not have that sort of time.