As I read through some comments inside a LinkedIn chat group composed of radio show hosts and production people, I’m surprised to see the majority raising the white flag declaring the end of radio. “Radio is dead”, they say as they complain of low revenue streams, barren subscriber-ships and their inability to impact and engage the listeners over social media. I’ve been hosting a show for 4 years and I just don’t agree. It’s not radio that’s dying, it’s the production that’s the problem. Everyone wants it easy. Radio today is like a race track and the hosts are the drivers of the cars. If the drivers suck at driving then no one will stick around to watch the race. Doesn’t that make more sense than blaming the race track? People want to be entertained and they have needs that are still not being filled by social media alone. In my opinion, the problem lies in the content not the platform. I have had a lot of time to experiment with content creation, advertising campaigns, and have educated myself not only by learning from mistakes but carefully following others. In this journey I have seen one thing ring true. Content is truly the king to all engagement and the key to all that we seek. If you consistently strive to break boundaries… Push limits ….. Exhaust your avenues… Only then will you see a difference in your success. People will get to know you, respect you and learn from you. They will be interested in what’s coming next. And find themselves drawn to your projects with curiosity. That’s entertainment and until you have an award winning quality show on your hands, you can’t blame Radio, you can only blame yourself.
Last year I witnessed a crowd funding campaign for a small niche radio podcast called 99 percent invisible exceed its fund raising goals to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for its next season of shows. The shows were high quality and intriguing. I couldn’t stop listening to them. In fact I found myself becoming a cult follower of the voice, the amazing content and the production. It was inspiring. I donated and took home a writing book with their logo on it hoping to see many more shows being produced in the new year. That’s exciting. When a simple podcast has the ability to draw you in like that and make you an addicted listener, that’s when you know you’ve got something special.
I for one am still filled with childish excitement to get started creating better content for my next season using the knowledge I learned this last year. I may not have been even close to reaching my entertainment peek yet but I sure am planning on putting on my big girl boots and pulling myself up that mountain as far as I can go. It sure will be a treasured view for me once I get there.
Cheers to us all for a successful and healthy 2015.
Host of www.AvALiveRadio.com
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