today i hung out with sarah, pamy and amos in the radio booth for a while. the three of them have a show every wednesday 5-7 pm which can be accessed via radio.ntu.edu.sg. as i was shooting pictures of them (under the guise that i am doing a publicity poster), i started thinking about radio and its decreasing appeal. see the rest of the pics on my flickr.
radio is not the same as it was when it first entered the public consciousness. back then when disembodied voices were thought to belong exclusively to the nether realm, the radio must have commanded a certain amount of awe. today, it is drowning in the proliferation of new media propelled by the internet.
when radio first appeared, it quickly established itself as a powerful force in the lives of people worldwide, bringing unprecedented currency and freshness to information. in the hands of the right people, the radio was a source of news and entertainment. in the hands of dictatorial regimes, it became a tool of propaganda. this is best displayed during the two great wars.
then the digital age came, and all of a sudden we had radio-on-demand, the mp3 format and podcasts. where people once had to listen to a mixture of genres on the radio, the diet of music now can be tailored to the tastes of individuals.
the mp3 phenomenon, along with the massive amount of music resources online, meant that people no longer had to depend on radio stations to hear the music of up and coming artists. with people choosing to suss out what is important and relevant to them using the internet, what then can the traditional radio do to survive? here are some ways:
1. build relationships with listeners the way the late john peel did. it also doesn’t hurt to have an excellent ear for discovering good music.
2. content is king. this is true everywhere. no station does it better than bbc radio. period.
3. sell your personality. no one is going to tune in and listen to a boring dj.
4. have contests and give out loads of prizes.
the last point might just work as a last resort. that’s why it is last.
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