I spend as much time with my daughters as possible. We play. We laugh. We learn. I enjoy studying them. One thing that has become clear to me is their knowledge of the amazing technology we have today is second nature. This generation knows only how to share and be social online.
We are all broadcasters. And it starts at a young age, too.
My 8 year old daughter uses her iPod as a video diary. Something that many adults (myself included) struggle with, is commonplace in her life. She knows how to shoot and share content as well as most “professional” broadcasters. She has a lot to say and absolutely no issue with putting it out to the world.
And here is where radio continues to lag. I fear that the industry I love has gotten so wrapped up in “best practices” that we’ve lost sight of where the puck is heading.
It isn’t about the music. They can get that anywhere, anytime at the touch of a button.
It isn’t about the personalities. The days of a radio broadcaster being thought of as a celebrity are gone.
It’s about the experience. Plain and simple.
People share online for validation. We want to hear we’re great or that we can do better. Either way, we crave that attention. And when we get it, our experience is enhanced.
Everyone has a voice. What I or any other personalty has to say isn’t special anymore…it’s just more noise to the user. Do you really give a shit about where some wealthy radio personality ate dinner last night? You’re savvy. You know when you are being sold to. And many times, your skepticism is valid.
But what YOU have to say? THAT is important.
I woke up in a cold sweat last night after a Jerry Maguire-esque revelation. We’re doomed as an industry unless we change the user experience.
I’m talking a major overhaul here, where programmers (guys like me) become producers for the real stars of our brands–YOU and your long form content. Share your stories. Your feelings on a topic. YOU host a show. Your content is king. You’re already doing it to the world via Youtube, Facebook and Twitter, broadcasting to a local audience should generate no fear. Radio websites house the content in audio and video form making it easy to share and completely on demand.
These thoughts aren’t groundbreaking. Companies such as Jelli have been giving radio users control for years with mixed results.
There’s massive risk involved in what I’m proposing. There’s an investment in time and money that will turn most radio station operators and owners off. There’s a good chance our precious ratings will dip. It won’t be for everyone right away, but sharing is becoming more and more mass appeal. Ask yourself, how rewarding could your radio listening experience be if what you’re listening to is YOURS?