Week after week, there’s always a lot of tech news in the air. It could be speculation about Alexa sales over the holidays, is iPhone X worth it, and when will autonomous cars hit critical mass – or other cars.
But this past week, radio took center stage. There’s been all kinds of fascinating news about radio – and I’m not talking about this quarter’s earning reports, Ed Christian’s Russia connection, or radio’s two biggest companies debating the meaning of the word “reach.”
Nope, these stories are relatively harmless, but still provocative – guaranteed to give you something interesting to talk about at the cider mill, tailgate party, or gym this weekend.
Here’s our troika of amazing radio stories:
1. Christmas music may be bad for you
How’s that for a headline? Actually, there’s a bit more to it than that. A clinical psychologist in the UK, Linda Blair (no, not that Linda Blair) says Christmas music that airs well before the actual holiday generates anxiety because it’s a reminder of how far we’re behind and how much we have to get done over the coming weeks.
She goes on to note the most stress falls on retail workers in stores that play Christmas music. It could be the volume or the repetition of holiday tune from Burl Ives or Brenda Lee. It turns out that many try to tune it out. This is likely the came in stores went wall-t0-wall Christmas music last month – even before most radio stations flipped.
And I thought it was just me. My own non-statistical research indicates programmers of stations featuring rock, country, adult contemporary, and other music formats seem especially likely to show signs of anxiety, often boiling over into rage, especially in January when the Holiday Book is released.
2. Hillary Clinton may have lost the election because she didn’t buy enough radio ads
That’s the theory espoused by ex-DNC chairwoman, Donna Brazile, now making the talk show rounds, hawking her controversial new book. Earlier this week, she made a surprise appearance on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” show.
As you know, there’s been much debate about the role that Russian hacking, “fake news” posts on Facebook and Twitter, as well as voter irregularities in many states played in the outcome of the presidential election. But it turns out the biggest culprit – according to Brazile – may have been the Dems paying too much attention to algorithms and stats, and not enough on traditional, old school campaign tactics.
Brazile told Carlson that she’s a traditional campaigner, whereas Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, is much more of a big data strategist. To win votes in the heartland, Brazile says she argued for radio spots.
You can watch it here – it runs for about 1 minute – radio is specifically mentioned at 8:10.
So, it makes you wonder – had the Clinton campaign invested heavily in radio ads in states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, could it have turned the tide?
3. F-bombs on Canadian radio?
If you want to go on the air and utter those famous 7 dirty words, you’d better go to work for SiriusXM, produce a podcast…
…or move to Canada.
The Telegraph reports the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council has now OK’d the F-bomb for French speaking stations only. That’s because the word in question is apparently “part of the common French spoken language,” thus making it less vulgar.
The impetus for this rule change came about because of complaints from French-speaking CKOI-FM listeners who heard the F-bomb aired in sound bites of Madonna using it in reference to President Trump at a rally, and Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong invoking it at a concert. But according to the CBSC, when used sparingly and on “francophone” stations, the F-bomb is apparently Kosher
And for this week, that’s the last word.
Thanks to Dave & Chuck the Freak, John Hager, and Alan Cross for turning me on to these great radio stories.
Jacobs Media has consistently walked the walk in the digital space, providing insights and guidance through its well-read national Techsurveys.
In 2008, jacapps was launched - a mobile apps company that has designed and built more than 1,000 apps for both the Apple and Android platforms. In 2013, the DASH Conference was created - a mashup of radio and automotive, designed to foster better understanding of the "connected car" and its impact.
Along with providing the creative and intellectual direction for the company, Fred consults many of Jacobs Media's commercial and public radio clients, in addition to media brands looking to thrive in the rapidly changing tech environment.