Who'll listen to the radio?

Who'll listen to the radio?

Posted October 14th, 2011 by debritz

"To those who say, that the radio over the internet will overtake broadcast radio I have just one thing to say – it won’t!"

So, according to Mumbrella.com.au, Commercial Radio Australia chair and DMG boss Cathy O'Connor told the National Radio Conference on the Gold Coast.

O'Connor went on to qualify her statement:

“The fact is there is not, and is unlikely to be in our lifetimes, enough bandwidth for reliable, robust, good quality services that can do what broadcast can do. That is – effectively communicate simultaneously, free to air and dependably to hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of people, anywhere, anytime.”

Now, I think Ms O'Connor is being overly optimistic in trying to predict advances (or lack of advances) in technology that didn't even exist less than a generation ago. I think it entirely probable that internet radio will match and exceed the abilities of broadcast radio within my lifetime.

What that will mean is increased competition - perhaps unfairly, from players who didn't have to invest in broadcast licences - but that should be seen as an opportunity rather than an insurmountable challenge.

What won't change is that good broadcasting will triumph over bad. Everyone in radio - and in the media as a whole - should be concentrating on producing quality, targetted content for a wide range of audiences, and let the means of delivery sort itself out.