“The next generation doesn’t like radio.”

Jerry Del Colliano is a professor at USC, broadcaster and program director and founder of Inside Radio. And a blogger:

“The next generation doesn’t like radio. Not the stations. Not the concept. There’s simply less need for it in their lives.

New technologies will not only replace radio among the next generation, they already have. And this generation is huge — with as many Gen Y’ers as there are baby boomers.

Without the next generation the radio business will continue to hit the wall. Once the present economic downturn ends — still a long way off — there won’t be enough new young listeners to help radio continue to grow. It becomes a losing proposition. More radio listeners die and fewer new radio listeners use traditional radio.

The next generation wants to stop, start, time-delay and delete its programming. This generation wants to mash it up — have a say in what it sounds like or how it is used. They want to deliver it to each other — share it — at will. They want community (what we used to call local radio) through social networking online.

One of the hardest things for me to deal with in my years of working with the next generation is that they don’t like radio and don’t understand what I like about it. When I describe it, they say what I am describing is not what they hear on the radio.

We’re an industry in denial that technology has changed the game. But only radio people have the power to adapt and create new content for a new generation and on the devices they use.

But to begin, we have to understand that more has changed than how to deliver radio programming. It’s not about the technology. It’s the sociology.”

When I can safely speak to a young person (early teens), I ask them about radio and get pretty much the same responses as Professor Del Colliano. What’s the joke… denial is not just a river in Egypt?

One thought on ““The next generation doesn’t like radio.”

  1. I think it has to do with not being marginalized by the limits of mass media anymore. For those of us who are used to the idea that everybody is famous for 15 minutes, the idea that everybody is famous to 15 people is a difficult paradigm shift.
    Mass media’s 15 minutes is over, and a big reason is that the ways people used to participate in the greater culture (e.g. Radio, TV, print) has been superseded. The shine may have worn off the idea that we’re in a revolution, but there’s no question about it- our culture is no longer something that demands millions of viewers/listeners/consumers to be excited about the same thing at the same time. We can all star in our own shows now.
    You have said it for years, too, Steve; the entrenched media had better catch a ride on the clue bus, because the vocabulary they are still insisting on using is only going to be relevant to people who feel guilty using a TiVo.

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