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The Future of Radio? | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

The Future of Radio?

Future of Radio

A friend of mine from Brussels asked me an interesting question recently. She was wondering what I thought was the future of radio. I’d never really considered such a question before. It would be easy to lump radio into the same dieing media categories like newspapers, magazines and possibly local tv news. And on one level most radio stations are owned by a media conglomerates already. But there was something interesting when I started to group some of the audio ways I listen to music and news.

http://hypem.com is a great example of curated aggregation. They Pull in music from blogs and sort it by artist and song.

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/wkcr/ is a niche station that is celebrating Benny Goodman’s centenary birth by playing 600 hrs of him straight at the moment.

http://ckua.org/ It’s a hybrid station that appeal to both local and world music fans with a focus on quality artists that might not be picked up by traditional stations.

http://www.npr.org/ is a station we all know about. I’m still p.o. that they canceled the Bryant Park Project, but as a media entity they have as much potential as anyone else out there at this point.

As I was writing these connections up on my whiteboard, I realized that I needed to make space for the internet. But then I realized I listen to all of these different channels online to begin with. As obvious as that sounds it’s noteworthy because each of those four stations aren’t trying to be all things to all people. So as there is the potential to do anything, there’s still focus to strengths that each carry online.

I should also mention http://www.cbc.ca/ and http://www.bbc.co.uk/ too—however they do have a large segment of tv which the other four examples don’t have and to some degree are trying to be all things to all people…

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  • http://www1934.cc/ Callie Neylan

    Hey, Michael.

    Just FYI – NPR is not a radio station. It's a producer of original audio content and radio programs which are licensed to public radio stations across the country.

    If you love NPR, please support your fave public radio station. That funding trickles back to us here at the NPR HQ in DC. 🙂

  • michelbranco

    I think radio itself will always remain. At least as long as it stays easy to just press one button on the radio and hear music. If this can be accomplished another way, you have yourself a new innovation.

  • http://www.branco-creative.nl/ John

    I love radio, but i want to just have it easy way. Difficult subject because you have to deal with infrastructure

  • http://designnotes.info/ michaelsurtees

    While you might be right about that Callie, you might want to ask five random people that don't work at NPR about what they think it is. As they say, a brand isn't what a company wants it to be, but what your audience says it is.