The rebirth of radio
Radio has been written off as a communications medium since television started broadcasting, but rumours of its death have always been greatly exaggerated. The internet was promised to be the next radio killer, but instead I think it will help it grow.
Latest RAJAR figures show that 90 per cent of the UK population listen to radio at least once a week – that’s over 46.8 million people. Having recently appeared on Cambridge City Radio I’ve seen what is happening with radio at a very local level, and believe that the RAJAR figures only show part of the story.
1 Radio is a social network
Radio, particularly at a local level, is essentially a social network. It may have a central hub but anyone can contribute and you feel part of a group with shared interests and desires – Terry Wogan as Facebook FM for the over fifties.
2 Radio fits with our lifestyles
Attention spans are shrinking and we’re all multi-tasking. Unlike TV, radio doesn’t use all our senses, leaving us free to do other things at the same time – whether cook, surf the internet or write this blog.
Radio has always built a closeness between presenter and audience, meaning that you interact whether you agree with what is being said or not. Look at the longevity of radio shows compared to TV and you’ll see how this engagement builds over time.
4 New delivery mechanisms
Radio has never been as expensive as TV and can now access a widening range of distribution channels. DAB, digital TV and the internet all lower the entry cost for getting your radio show to market – you can even turn it into a podcast.
5 Radio can be hyperlocal
We’re currently seeing regional and local papers folding on a regular basis, something that is being replicated in commercial radio (witness Heart’s decision to merge its local county stations into regional hubs). This leaves an untapped audience for truly local content – for particular cities/towns or even special interest groups. TV can’t meet this need, but radio stations like Cambridge City Radio can, professionally and with innovative and interesting programming.
So time to retune your ideas about radio and click to listen again……….