1. Technology
Send to a Friend via Email
Traditional Radio VS. Web Radio
...And The Winner Is: You!
 Related Resources
• More Nails in the Consolidation Coffin

• Radio@Netscape: Web Radio's New Killer App

• Webcasting Sources & Streams

• Streaming Software

• Poll: What Do You Listen To?


 Elsewhere on the Web
 

So, I'm sitting here at my computer, streaming the "Super '70s" channel from Radio@Netscape. Bob Dylan is singing, "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" and I'm wondering if conventional Radio is quickly ascending the white staircase to the Pearly Gates of Broadcasting.

It is not an easy thing for me to say or contemplate. Afterall, I have spent my professional life in commercial Radio. Yet, as time goes on, I have my doubts as to how long the tedium, spit out by many Radio stations, will continue to bring in the revenue these operations depend on for survival.

"Baby Come Back" by Player is now streaming. The phrase makes me wonder where those days have gone when commercial Radio had more heart and less accountants. I still remember when the DJ on-the-air actually picked some or all of the songs he played. I had that opportunity at several stations early on in my career. I'm not suggesting everything I picked my audience loved, but in the same respect, we had ratings, we made money and that was just the norm. There was no computer or music scheduling software. It was just the jock on-on-the-air and the listeners on the phone. That's a one-on-one relationship which doesn't function too well anymore. Most requests to Radio stations are ignored. You really don't know what you like. Or hasn't anyone told you?

Corporate Program Directors and Consultants will argue the merits of picking music by what the "adds" are in Radio & Records each week (what other stations are playing) and how well their software shuffles those tunes. What they don't like to talk about but will still defend are the loser songs that get added, not because people like them, but because an independent record rep has paid the station "promotional dollars" (read that "legal payola") for that favor. They'll defend the practice because it's their job.

I'm here to tell you Radio not only survived, but flourished for decades before all that. That's MY job.

I've now switched over to the "Top Alternative" stream. I'm listening to "In The End" by Linkin Park, Live from BBC Radio One. How wonderful to be able to hear any music I want, from anywhere in the world. This is the joy of Radio on the Internet and a painful reminder to conventional Radio that not everyone is willing to just accept whatever it wants to dish out.

I could sit here all afternoon and click my way through 150 channels, all different and designed to appeal to the very narrow tastes of a great many people. When it comes down to it, each one of us has a preference, unlike the next guy. We are unique. Nowadays, commercial Radio knows it can never please all of us, and is forced to cater to a small slice of the pie known as a target demographic. Even so, if a station aims at men, 18-34 for instance, there is still so much diversity in taste within even that sliver, the best a station can hope to do is program it's content so it hits "the middle" which, inevitably leads to little risk taking and bland programming.

I click on the "Awesome80s" channel. Janet Jackson is singing "Control". How appropriate because that's exactly what Net Radio has given back to the listeners.

- Corey Deitz

Previous Articles

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.