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October 29, 2003

Music industry watch

Radio -- who needs it?

I've felt that radio had outgrown it's usefulness quite some time ago. I think radio went downhill and became useless in the early 90s -- today I would rather drive in silence than be subjected to public FM in the car.

Now the mainstream media is asking the same question:

Well, with the exception of being stuck in your car, without a CD or cassette player, there doesnít seem to be much reason to tune in. There was a time when deejays could play whatever they wanted, and the radio was the place to go to hear a variety of music and discover new artists. But, as the play lists shrink and become more of the same, the Internet is quickly becoming the place to go for music lovers of all kinds.

With radio stations focusing more on making money (e.g. ClearChannel), rather than focusing on bringing quality entertainment, the utility of the radio has gone down significantly in the last few years. I think this $$$ centric vision will ulitmately lead to the demise of the recording industry (as we know it), which will thankfully take the greedy radio bastards with it.

My MP3 collection and I won't miss it one bit.

Posted by Mayhem at October 29, 2003 03:50 PM


I actually enjoy kfog's morning show. they have interesting people and a well put-together show. They heavily edit callers before broadcasting, mostly trimming out the silent spaces and probably taking the person's entire content out-of-context, but it gets rid of the stupid callers and yes, reduces most of the callers to mere sound bites.
and they actually play music, so it's not all blatherings of ego-manaical talk show hosts.

but it works for me.

book reviews, political commentary, and more.

and there's only one commercial that I remember consistently from the show: one where it was read live by the hosts, and involved train whistles. I remember it mostly because of the humour of the reader trying to coordinate the blows of the train whistles with the other hosts. much laughter ensued.

Posted by: kjw at October 30, 2003 12:37 PM

I'd say FM Radio is a classic example of companies thinking too much about their own needs and not enough about the customer.

What do people want from music? They want to be spiritually elevated. Being loud and crass works counter to this.

You can only piss your soup for so long before people stop coming to your restaurant. And hiring some hotshot marketing guys whose big idea is to get people to "crave the taste of piss" doesn't solve the core problem.

Posted by: hugh macleod at November 4, 2003 08:43 PM

I'm sick of FM too--haven't listened to it in at least 2 years.

Just read about this in the Utne Reader and thought of your post: http://www.inradio.net

Posted by: Angela at November 5, 2003 04:58 PM

Over a year later, but got here from your ETech blog (http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/wlg/6701).

While the criticism of commercial radio is on the mark, there are non-commercial FM stations that will play things that you would never have in your own MP3 collection; WFMU (http://wfmu.org/) is a good example of why FM radio won't die yet (at least until you can get the MP3 stream via satellite internet in your car!).


Posted by: Alexander Dupuy at March 16, 2005 11:13 AM