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Brian Wright
Audience Development Group

The future is approaching





A recently a radio group-head asked me where I saw radio in the years ahead. His main question was, “what will it sound like if it exists at all?” I told him that I believe that it certainly will exist and it may sound similar, but how it gets to the consumer will most likely change. Radio stations will probably distribute their programming through internet connections to your home or car all over the world through mobile and in home/office receivers. At some point the actual transmission of radio on AM & FM could fade away.


The future is approaching rapidly. Soon all cars will be equipped with broadband WiFi receivers so you can listen to any internet stream you want to, which would include your local stations that are streaming. Some will also be able to connect with the internet through cell connections built right into the receiver, much like the connection that already exists with your smart-phone. All of this will change the way people use radio in our mobile society but it doesn’t necessarily mean that this is a bad thing because everyone will be on an equal playing field, but your local station, now streaming only,  will have a significant top of mind awareness advantage over the Johnny Come Lately.


It is clear that the content of your product will become more important than ever. Your music quantity image will be less important because it can be preempted by any number of all music, no personality, jukebox streaming stations. The bottom line is, it will be more important than ever to bond with your local audience and reflect their ideas, aspirations and hopes, because now they can take you anywhere in the world with them. Look at it this way; if all broadcast transmitters were turned off tomorrow and most people had easy access to your high quality stream do you think they would stop listening to you? I don’t believe they would. They may listen less because of so many other choices but that’s where the “improving your content” part comes in. Your local advertisers will end up liking this huge coverage area as well, if they know that you are doing your part to maintain or even growing your audience.


The radio dynamic will certainly change within this new paradigm but many of the same principles that make radio great will continue to make radio great if we hold on to them. There will be some operators that will cut everything to the bone and hope for the best but they will fade away. Then there will be those who see this as a great opportunity, build their emotional connections, and grow their audience.


Brian is a 30 year radio veteran who has successfully served many companies over the years as Program Director, Operations Manger and VP of programming. After many years of success working for individual radio stations and clusters, Brian Joined one of the most trusted consulting firms in the country, Audience Development Group. For the last 15 years Wright has enjoyed building alliances with scores of stations in the US & Canada helping them grow in ratings and revenue. Contact Brian at