Are we making ourselves redundant ?
Liam is the PD and Breakfast Host of 96five in Brisbane.
There's quite a lot to be impressed with after the launch of ARN's new iHeartRadio online service. For years Aussie DJ's have heard snippets of this juggernaut that includes content on demand, concerts and more.
But I wonder if directing our audience away from our core product is healthy in the long term.
I heard a break today by Ian Kiernan on 4KQ Brisbane. He came off the back of a Farnham song and said …..
"That's John Farnham with That's Freedom, and if you'd like to hear more of Farnham, maybe even a radio station that plays nothing but Farnham, then click on iHeartRadio right now and play your favourite tunes when ever you like ….. iHeartRadio.com" ….. (no ID….next song just starts).
You know what Ian, my friend, "Don't mind if I do".
So you're telling me that if our listeners don't like what we do, we should send them somewhere where they can enjoy what they like, when they like. Yeah not real smart if you ask me. A great opportunity for us to "Heart" our listeners in offering everything they've ever needed in one place, but will they "Heart" us back if they like what we offer as a side project even more than the main event.
I get progress, in fact I embrace it. I love having the choices I want, when I want them, including the songs I feel like, the shows I want and the times I listen. But surely at some point, at that rate, we make ourselves redundant? Should we not be protecting the product that gives us the enjoyment, passion and employment we've all enjoyed for so long.
Sure, podcasts are awesome, 5000 songs in my pocket is mind blowing, but having a vehicle with, at times the reach of a few million people is a resource that can't be matched.
Protecting the product should be paramount. Encouraging people to re-engage with the mystique of live radio is a job for all of us. Reminding people why they love the medium is crucial to maintaining listeners and growing fan bases. It's vital for our survival.
Signs show we are fast becoming a medium that is used in cars only, the commute to and from work. Breaky TV has stolen from us the joy of Doug Mulray like banter over our coco-pops, and giving people even more choice is like eating our industry from the inside out.
I live for new technology, I love listening to Capital FM in London on my phone, or downloading Triple M's Hot Breakfast to listen to at the gym. But if we make every piece of content ever needed available in every place other than out those FM Stereo Speakers, what hope is there of forging a new era of radio, if radio doesn't exist.