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Friday, May 05, 2017

Best Thing I've Read Today

Ken Levine explains Why Radio (as an industry) Sucks:

Here’s the problem: when I was a kid radio was exciting. Every station had live DJ’s. They had freedom to be personalities. They had distinctive styles (well, some did and then fifty other jocks in smaller markets copied them). They howled like wolves. They had an impact. They drew big audiences. They mattered. And it was not unusual for a creative young person (like myself) to want to go into radio.

Today, I don’t know any Millennial who wants to make a career in radio. Why the hell would he? That's like wanting to be a butter churner. With so many more options available in video and music and numerous internet outlets where you can get your project – whatever it is – directly out to the public, why would anyone with artistic abilities or a need to express themselves bother with a medium that is dying, eliminating talent, exploiting the talent it has, and none of his peers listen to anyway? What’s to aspire to – being on a morning zoo making bad vagina jokes? Doing voice tracks for seven stations all for the price of being on one? Finding clever ways to say generic things so listeners will think you’re actually in Yakima? What idiot has stars in his eyes for THAT?
I would add that most millennials have no interest in a radio career because they don't even own a radio. They're used to listening to streaming services like Pandora and Spotify, or discovering new music via friends on social media, or looking for playlists from celebrities they follow on YouTube.

They have no generational memory of waking up to a morning zoo or discovering a new station that promises featured-artist-double-shot-superset-mini-concert-back-to-back-instant-replay-twin-spins. They're not drawn to a broadcast outlet promising a commercial-free hour once a day -- and overloads the rest of the time with too many spots -- when they can get commercial-free music all day and night online.

It's entirely possible that millennials' exposure to music doesn't even include disc jockeys -- ever! So the chances any of them would say "I want to do that" is about the same as the odds they'd log on to Monster.com to find a job delivering milk.

Read Ken's full piece here.