Is The Radio Dead?

There may be many arguments for the soon-to-be death of the radio, especially when we can see a visual downward trend of radio usage. Why? The biggest reason is the birth of internet resources that give you the power of choice: what you want to read, when you want to read it, and how much of it you want to read.

What if that could be brought to the radio?

RAB has some statistics on the radio listening habits of consumers. According to them, 90% of radio listeners are doing something else at the same time; multi-tasking, if you will. Because radio doesn’t require any time commitment, listeners are free to zone in and out, shifting their attention to other routine tasks when they are not interested in the current content. Also, a majority of radio listeners indicate that it is a personal experience; it is not an activity often done in groups. Also, their audience provides evidence that the average listener listens to 2.4 stations per week, suggesting that radio listeners do not switch around with radio stations, but instead stick with a few hand-picked ones.

To optimize the radio experience, news radio must bring relevant information to their listeners. Users are probably forced to consume a number of subjects that are irrelevant to their interests, and thus choose to shift their attention to other tasks. If provided content that they are likely to be interested in, perhaps radio listeners would be able to focus solely on news consumption; this would solve the problem of relevancy.

If the radio was made portable, such as on a phone as an application, the convenience of it would allow users to catch up on news whenever they please.

By providing headlining stories in the form of summarized content before letting users delve deeper into the story, this would allow users to decide how much of each story they want to read or listen to. Also, since it is a personal experience, personalizing the application to listeners’ tastes can only benefit the user. Because radio listeners tend not to switch stations around, bringing content from a whole range of different news channels can help broaden radio listeners’ mindset with different editorial content and opinions on the matter.

Would you use radio apps more if you could choose what, when, and how much to listen to?