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“The Next Radio Killer” – Digital Gabe
Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

“The Next Radio Killer”

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The title of this post isn’t from me – it’s from Radio Ink’s founder and chairman Eric Rhoads.  This morning it was printed in an op-ed piece by Mr. Rhoads, as part of a bleak yet honest assessment of Radio’s fundamental problem.  According to Rhoads, Radio’s threat isn’t of being “killed” by a competing music distribution platform.  For decades industry pundits have predicted that cassettes, CDs, satellites, and now streaming music services would lead to the demise of radio.  Yet, here the industry still stands today with 10,000+ commercial stations in the US and $15B+ in revenue.

Instead Eric Rhoads points to a larger macro issue radio has failed to address.  The problem is simple – radio isn’t considered digital by listeners or advertisers.  So while the entire world keeps getting more digital Radio is falling further behind.  To compound the problem radio execs continue to defend their current turf instead of making the full transition to digital, which widens the relevancy gap even more.

The last paragraph of this article is really poignant.  “It’s time for radio to have strategic discussions and stop worrying about the next radio killer.  If we don’t start getting outside of our comfort zone and understanding the real world around us, the next radio killer is in the mirror.”  If I were still in broadcast radio I’d take this article to heart.


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