June 21, 2004
And now these messages
I'm with Alex - it really is appalling and off-putting how many commercials are playing on radio these days. It's worst in morning drivetime, as far as I can tell from my own listening experience, but whenever it happens there's nothing like hearing five solid minutes of car dealer ads to make you want to scream. Have I mentioned how much I miss my CD player?
Anyway, it's interesting to note that the glut of ads on radio appears to be not working very well. Alex wonders if this means that listenership is also down. I think if it isn't now, it will be soon, as satellite radio becomes more ubiquitous - how many new cars have them as standard equipment now? If I were them, I'd be very worried about now.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 21, 2004 to Music
I don't want satellite. I want a jack to plug my iPod into. That'll keep me from hearing new music just as effectively as tuning in a clearchannel station.
I have a CD/MP3 player in my car, which is really cool. Every MP3 CD has a longer playlist than do most radio stations.
I'm pretty stoked about satellite radio. If I can at all afford it, my next car will be so equipped. My current player can handle it, but I don't have the outer hardware.
Many years ago we set every radio we own to NPR, and really haven't changed them since. This worked particularly well since KUT (Austin) and WDUQ (Pittsburgh) are on the same frequency, otherwise we might be stuck!
The few times that I wander onto our local sports talk radio (much fewer now that Tony Kornheiser is off the air) I have been astonished at the number and banality of the ads, however.
What's even worse than just the amount of commercials is that all the stations I listen to seem to have them all at the same time. Now I'm not suggesting black helicopters are involved here, but...
I think the danger from satellite radio is very real. Once you go satellite, you won't go back. I love radio; always have, always preferred it to CDs or tapes, and I have listened to it ONCE since I got my new car with satellite radio 5 weeks ago.
Fortunately for me, I was able to connect my 20Gb mp3 player to my stereo so I don't have to listen to the radio.
Were my office not in the middle of the building I work in, I would enter the satellite radio world.
People scoffed at me when I asked "why would anyone want to listen to radio?" and declared radio as merely a delivery mechanism for music that someone ELSE wants you to listen to. I will point out that someone else wants you to listen to their ADS, not just their music.
I'm reminded of a Joan Rivers joke: "Prince Charles wants his mother to retire, so he can be Queen."
Down that same line, satellite radio will be relatively copmmercial-free until it achieves enough market penetration to interest the big advertisers. Then you will be hearing wall-to-wall commercials there, too.
Remember when most of cable was commercial-free? Me, too.
The only conventional radio I listen to now is the local all news station when I'm in the car. When I want music, I have mp3 players. When I want to listen to new music, I use Yahoo's Launchcast to focus on narrow genres or for a more random selection, the Sirius satelite radio feeds that come via my Dish Network satelite TV, or internet feeds via Media Player.
The Shock Jocks and "Hot Talk" blowhards are shutout as are the Jesus freaks and Mexican mariachi marathons. Technology and Clear Channel/Infinity/Cumulus have killed radio.