Back in September of last year when things looked pretty bleak for traditional media, we expressed guarded optimism for radio. We argued that while both radio and newspaper seemed locked in a death spiral, the ultimate fates of the two media would turn out differently.
The cost, physical nature of Newspaper, and its 24 hour delivery cycle puts it at a fundamental disadvantage to electronic media. Television and radio can adapt to a digital world much more easily than newspaper.
Mainstream media seems to be coming to the same conclusion. Recently MediaDailyNews noted:
Two of the hardest-hit traditional media will see their fortunes diverge in 2010, according to analysts who expressed muted optimism for the near-term prospects of broadcast radio, but warned of a fresh round of declines for newspapers.
The article contrasted BIA/Kelsey’s estimate of a steady improvement in radio revenue to J.P. Morgan’s prediction of an additional 8% decline in newspaper ad revenue.
Radio is far from out of the woods. It will take years of the projected single digit gains to make up for just the last two years of decline. It is, however, movement in the right direction.
We believe radio can do better than the anemic BIA projections if it gets its mojo back.
Radio needs to get back to work improving and innovating both the broadcast and Internet products. HD is a failure and we need to move on.
Radio also needs to work together under strong leadership to push back against the myths perpetuated by new-media pundits. As we noted in September:
Radio has only itself to blame for the financial shape it finds itself in. It let new media pundits perpetuate a self-serving myth about radio, and radio did nothing about it. It actually did worse than nothing–it panicked. Radio acted like it was in trouble, which only played into the myth.