Canned Music, Playin’ on the Radio

This post at Radio InSight about localism in radio:

Look at local radio. Today how many stations are centrally programmed from corporate headquarters? How many stations use distant voice tracking? How many syndicated shows have replaced local live shows? It is a process we call the nationalization of local radio.

If local radio becomes nationalized, then the game is lost.

Lost not in the sense that local radio will disappear. There will be terrestrial radio stations for many years to come.

Local radio will lose its uniqueness, however, and with it the ability to charge a premium for its spots. If local radio becomes robotic like Internet radio, then price will be the only determinant for choosing one over the other, and local radio cannot compete with national services on price.

It means that commercial radio groups will have to continue cutting programming expenses, firing even more live jocks, eliminating what few advantages local radio still has.

It is a death spiral that will turn local radio stations into zombies.

Local radio’s greatest advantage over national services in its localism. Rather than cutting back on localism, stations need to work even harder to maintain it. We need to become more local, not less.


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