Today, I'm happy to share a guest blog from Paul Jacobs. Without further adieu:
If you've taken an entry level physics course, you are aware of the concept that every action has an equally forceful reaction. We're seeing that in radio right now. For the past several years, our industry has been criticized for stamping out clone formats across a wide swath of markets. A Mix station in Cincinnati sounds the same as one in Phoenix. The press, and even more importantly, the listeners, have figured it out, and they've reacted by ramping up the criticism, and moving away from radio to more interesting, and varied, entertainment options.
But true to Physics 101, radio is reacting. Of course, the mainstream press hasn't picked up on it yet (remember, newspapers do compete with radio, and it's in their interest to beat us up), but the evidence is clear. There is probably more new format experimentation happening now than in any time in recent history.
The biggest story going right now is the proliferation of Jack formats. But unlike past new “formats” like Jammin' Oldies, that were easily replicated, there are multiple versions of Jack. Like NeoRadio, Jack is more of a values-based philosophy than a format. Like Neo, it can be applied across multiple platforms. That's why Ben-FM in Philly sounds different than Dave-FM in Atlanta. It's also why NeoRadio proponents like The Mountain in Denver sound different than FM 949 in San Diego. It's also why Emmis applied the concept to their new Country station in Indy — Hank FM.
This format renaissance isn't limited just to Jack/Ben/Dave/Neo stations. We're seeing multiple formats being developed for the burgeoning Hispanic market. Oldies stations are experimenting with different approaches. Air America is bringng a new tilt to talk programming. Entercom's KWOD flipped last weekend to “KWOD v2.0” — a new AAA/Alternative hybrid crafted for Sacramento.
And I haven't even mentioned the attempts to reduce inventory and clutter.
The rules of physics apply even to radio. There's a lot happening. I know that Fred, Bill, Ralph, and Dave will enjoy their monitoring during upcoming market visits. I'm assuming (and hoping), that the audience feels the same way. Radio is coming back.
Feel free to share your thoughts – click the “comments” button below, or email Paul directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We're Going Back To The Future - December 3, 2021
- When Do We Lose Interest In Discovering New Music? - December 2, 2021
- To Everyone Who Says “Local” Is Overrated… - December 1, 2021