Social Media and Podcasting are the new Broadcasting!

Just when us old radio guys think the business is dead, it reinvents itself.

Our parents lamented when long form radio programs transferred to Television. It took visionaries like Todd Storz and Gordon Mclendon to reinvent the medium as a jukebox with personality.

That worked for many years, until consolidation and the high prices paid for radio properties forced owners to economize and homogenize. That opened the door for smart devices and today’s generation gets their content when they want it on the device they like best. Whether it’s a smartphone or a smart speaker like Alexa, it’s possible to hear whatever your favorite music is anytime, anywhere.

The difference is that the listener is in total control. Services like Amazon Music and iTunes allow you to create your own playlists. Pay a couple of bucks and you don’t even have to hear commercials.

So personalities have migrated to the podcast world. What used to be a 5 minute attention span, now can encompass more than an hour, IF the content is compelling.

That’s where you’ll find today’s radio announcers. We may not be playing the hits, but the fun stuff we did in between the music is all there. A few of the more entrepreneurial of us have found ways to monetize it. But the cool thing is that the space is wide open. Anyone can play in the sandbox!

In the old days, when radio stations were owned locally, there were places where we could learn the trade, to get away with being bad while we figured out how to be good and move up the ladder to bigger markets and bigger audiences. That’s today’s podcast space. Shows come and go. People reinvent themselves and try again. And there’s always room for the truly dedicated practitioner to succeed. And there’s a huge ecosystem of ears out there, eager to listen.

Radio is still around on line. Most every set of call letters has an audio stream and there are some small guys who are trying their hand in creating their own stations. Hopefully the new copyright rules will make it a bit easier for them to do it legally. We need more of that kind of competition to raise the bar.

It all boils down to this: There’s still a lot of great audio content out there. It may be a bit harder to find than when you had one radio in your car and a few stations to choose from. But whether you are a creator or a consumer, the field has never been more fertile.

Explore and enjoy. And keep an ear out. You might hear a familiar voice like mine!