As we’ve demonstrated several times, the trades seem to delight in reporting critical comments about radio. Terry McBride, co-founder/CEO of Canada’s Nettwerk Music Group, gave R&R Today an opportunity to take a swipe at both music labels and radio. R&R summarized McBride’s criticism of the labels this way:
Music labels have depended on radio airplay for so long, they have never learned the art of effective and relevant marketing, a scenario that has contributed to the current industry slump.
R&R then quotes McBride linking the labels’ troubles to what he believes is radio’s declining status:
They (the labels) based their strategies around radio, press coverage, and [point-of-sale] advertising. Everything came after that. But radio and traditional media have been thrown out the door. Consumers now ignore the radio and print media, and they no longer go into stores.
So radio has been thrown out the door and consumers ignore us? If Mr. McBride has anything more definitive than his opinion to prove this, he didn’t share it with R&R. We suspect that Mr. McBride is just repeating what new media people want us to believe. New media people can’t accept the possibility that radio can coexist with new media. They seem to need to believe that radio is dead. The fact that study after study proves that radio is alive and well is something they just can’t accept. So they ignore the accumulating research and keep spouting off about how people just don’t pay attention to radio anymore.
JupiterResearch has just released the latest study to proves radio’s continuing relevancy. It turns out that radio is the top media source for discovering new music. The Jupiter study found that nearly two-thirds of the survey’s participants listed radio over word of mouth, videos, TV, and alternatives as their favorite means to discover new music and artists. Word of mouth was a distant second. Even among those active online, radio ranked number one.
It is easy for us to fall into the trap of believing all the hype surrounding new media and alternatives to radio. The potential threats to radio are growing exponentially, but somehow radio keeps coming out on top in these surveys. Radio requires no effort and no subscription. You turn it on, and it’s there. It may not be the hottest thing right now. It doesn’t come with a touch screen, but it sure is convenient. And that’s very important to a lot of people.
R&R noted that Mr. McBride was off to London to host "Face to Face With the Millennials," an industry forum. We hope that someone in the audience will ask him about the Jupiter study.