Saturday, December 17, 2005

Good Business Makes Bad Radio

Radio stations, especially as they've consolidated, have put a lot of science into the programming of their content.

"We need to focus on a specific demographic!"

"We must focus on the most appealing content for that demographic!"

This is excellent, excellent business advice. In fact, I try to impress the importance of focus on my students as often as possible.

However, with a radio station, this causes significant harm. Every radio station is trying to appeal to a specific demographic and trying to ONLY play the content that fits in the top level of being appealing to that demographic.

And the best demographic (apparently) for a radio station is the teenage girl demographic.

I'm guessing that because the majority of radio stations focus on this demographic because their music choices seem to be pointed that way.

As a business decision, it's flawless.

However, as a policy for a radio station, it's awful.

I can't stand listening to any radio stations in our area. They repeat songs endlessly, their DJs are reduced to innane chatter (Morning Zoo, anyone?), and the content is generally so bad I wait hopefully for a commercial break.

So, it seems that good business makes for bad radio.

As always happens, a better alternative to radio has appeared. It's called podcasting.

Podcasting provides a laser-sharp demographic focus, an opportunity for advertisers, and content that is useful, newsworthy and enjoyable.

Plus, all podcasting content can be "time shifted," meaning that you can listen to it whenever you want.

The equipment you need to listen to a podcast in your car is an iPod and a car iPod adapter.

What are you waiting for? Start listening to podcasts instead of the radio. Find specific programs on holistic health, renewable energy, German shepherds or whatever your passion. Or start your own podcast. It's easy enough that anyone can do it.

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