Is radio really dead?
Yestersday Seth Godin wrote a blog that was resent to my inbox about 15 times because my community of friends clearly thought there would be some interest or some sort of celebration on my behalf if the news was true, radio had come to the end.
To be clear that could not be further from the truth, there is a place for the mass mediums, all of them - but a profound change needs to occur in all of them. That isn't to say I think Seth is wrong and I would think that people in radio know that 17 minutes of commercials an hour isn't any more customer-centric than the issues at the newspaper or the need for personalized content on the television level.
But what I took out of this was not the doom and gloom that filled my inbox or the need to keep traffic and weather together on "the 1s" but this sentence; "It will be replaced by a new thing, the long tail of audio that's similar (but completely different) from what we were looking for from radio all along." Because here is the thing, there are so many brilliant people in radio and who have come from the radio industry that the disruption to that model is bound to come from someone in that tribe. It could be a new app or an existing one or even something that we cannot even imagine yet.
When I went about researching the lengths of songs at Top 40 I was a year or two ahead of people within in the company I worked for and other companies who attempted the same idea, the point being two people hatch an idea for a graduate thesis in Grand Rapids at the same time the idea is being discussed at much higher levels - people in these medium are innovating, the thing that should change is the speed.
Mass media is dead, long live mass media.
There will always be a need to reach "the masses" the only thing that will actually change, is the way in which they are reached. Which leaves the only logically question left, will you be the one who changes it?