Saturday, January 05, 2008

Discussing The Downfall Of Radio

TuneLab Music - Everything That Rocks » Discussing The Downfall Of Radio

This is a pretty interesting article here discussing how modern rock radio, and by extension, all niche-market radio in the US, is failing its audience by playing mostly tracks by artists that are five or more years old. "Did radio get stuck in the 90's?" the author asks. Well, yes and no. You'll find that it has less to do with the programming directors choice of music, and more to do with whether or not you can attract an audience that are old enough to buy beer.

From the Broadcast Law Blog article above: "While there are no laws specifically prohibiting the advertising of beer on radio stations with younger audiences, the Federal Trade Commission and Congress have been very concerned about all alcohol advertising, especially advertising that appears to encourage under-aged drinking. Thus, to avoid regulation, the Beer Institute has adopted voluntary standards that require its members to advertise only on radio stations which have an audience that is at least 70% comprised of those older than the legal drinking age."

Apparently that 70%, while it does not correlate perfectly with TuneLab's findings of roughly 50% of all modern rock radio tracks being over 5 years old, is still a big reason why we don't hear many newer acts on radio these days. Modern rock radio has shifted to a more adult-oriented format, because that's what brings the big alcohol sponsorship in. It's a big shame, as Jay points out, because in 5 years time, there will be less of todays music to pull from to attract the same audience, as less of todays music is getting airplay now. Eventually, I can imagine, there will simply be a station that plays nothing but Nirvana, Chili Peppers (post-Blood Sugar Sex Magic), Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam. We're pretty close to that already.

"If you want more, you have to require more from yourself." I have no idea what you're talking about, Dr. Phil.