“Pandora is Web streaming, not radio. Satellite programming is called Digital Audio Broadcasting by the FCC; it is not radio. Radio should take steps to educate the consumers (and media) as to this fact. Radio is what comes out of a radio, not a computer or smart phone from the Web.”
In an interview with Richard Wagoner of DailyBreeze.com, Saul Levine, owner of “Go Country 105” KKGO Los Angeles and a few other AM’s in Southern California bestowed up on us that doozy of a statement.
It is that line of thinking that will make traditional AM/FM radio obsolete. This is like saying that music played off of CD’s or MP3’s is not music. AM Radio is a century old technology. It should’ve been replaced with an improved technology years ago.
Actually that is finally happening. It’s called streaming. Listeners do not care what method their audio programming is coming from as long as they are provided with the compelling programming they are searching for. It doesn’t matter if its Pandora, a streamer on Live365, SiriusXM, 100kw FM, 500 watt AM daytimer, or their own IPod. Choosing not to accept them all as equals competing for the ears of a potential listener just means your irrelevant to one more person.
Radio’s biggest hurdle right now is that it has disappointed almost every potential listener at one time or another. Just take a look at these two examples of how regular listeners treat the medium: here and here. Every listener has gotten hurt at one time or another by format changes, hosts coming and going, or not hearing what they want locally. Solving those issues is close to impossible, but emphasizing the good is not. Just give them compelling programming and they’ll return. What is the difference between someone’s personal music collection and a station completely automated? Absolutely nothing.
Don’t run from technology and newer mediums either. Embrace them and make them your own. Thankfully CBS and Clear Channel have begun to do so. Its not hard for small market and independent owners to do so either. The tools are there, it just takes a little bit of time and dedication to put them to work.
If Saul Levine had his way we’d all be commuting to work in our horse and buggy listening to a transistor AM radio. If this line of thinking is prevalent throughout the industry we’re all in trouble.