Radio Lessons #108 – The New Normal

Covid-19 is not the new normal. This will end. But the world is never going to be the same.

Today, we feel the lingering anxiety of cities on lockdown, where economies have halted, businesses have been crippled and toilet paper is the new gold.

But life goes on. We adapt. We pivot. And inevitably, stories emerge with green shoots of hope.

Restaurants have been forced to adjust to non-contact and lean on take-away and delivery or perish.

Many eateries have closed, unable to survive but many are reporting increased profits in the new model – where the fall in revenues is offset by the lower overheads of staff and cleaning.

With cinemas closed, Hollywood holds its breath, postponing some of 2020’s biggest releases to later this year and even next. But a locked-up planet full of couples and families suddenly forced to converse, is starved of fun and craves entertainment.

Chris Hemsworth’s Extraction debuted at #1 on Netflix the day it was released.

Trolls World Tour was released direct to home and is now the biggest digital release of all time (taking 10 times more than the second-largest). It pulled in $100 million in its first 3 weeks, something the original Trolls couldn’t do in a 5-week cinema run.

So clearly, it’s not all doom and gloom. But what are you doing differently? What innovations have you found during this crazy time? And perhaps most importantly, what changes have you made in Pandemic Mode that will find their way into your new normal once all this is over?

Shows and stations are placing a greater emphasis on video content.

There is a diminished reliance on big prizing. User-Generated Content has seen a resurgence. And there is a general appreciation for the mundane.

Celebrities have been humanized, humbled even. The act of working from home and sharing the community experience of this strangeness has reset the star system and refocused us on the power of relatability. Good things. Things we can keep doing when this is in the rear-view mirror.

We’ve learned a few things through Covid-19: tigers are way cheaper than you would have expected, pants are totally optional on a Zoom meeting and crisis or no crisis, radio is all about companionship and connection – regardless of format or broadcast location.

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