29 June 2005

Commercial Radio

Ask anybody what they think is the problem with commercial radio and eight times out of then the answer is either Playlist or the same songs are played too often. Most of the times these are the same thing but what everybody tend to forget is that playlist as such doesn’t mean that station plays very few songs with tight rotation. It has just become the scapegoat for the boring radio that we mostly hear.

I reckon the real trouble with commercial radio is that it never understands the audience and it never tries to increase the public activity of its audience. That obviously the stations have never promised to do. But why after all the years stations don’t understand the audience? Audience seem to be taken for granted and always either under or overestimated. Most of radio listening, particularly on commercial sector is unconscious so you cannot expect people to take notes if you speak on the radio. But you shouldn’t talk to them as if they were absolute idiots. If they are listening they will understand but if you underestimate them they won’t be listening anymore.

Radio in Europe seem to be also too much dominated by the American consultants and theories. I would argue that audience is not similar in Europe than in America. Europeans are very critical towards everything and they will understand if something is copied directly from somewhere else.

My wish is that one day I’ll hear a commercial station in Europe that wants to have intelligent people as their target audience. If that doesn’t happen I might have to start a station myself.

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