Posted by: Jon Fine on April 15, 2008
Got a few emails about this speech given yesterday at the National Association of Broadcasters conference by NAB President-CEO David Rehr, in particular this part:
Rehr then turned to radio, first talking about a widely reported BusinessWeek column by Jon Fine, headed "Requiem for Old-Time Radio." Though Fine believes radio isn't well-suited to moving its business model online, he wrote that he remembers radio with "ridiculous fondness" and recalled "huddling with it long past bedtime, the volume set low, hoping to hear something I loved."
Rehr said, "Ladies and gentlemen, that is romance, that's longing, that is a connection. Listeners still want what they've always wanted. Technology hasn't changed that -- it has just changed the devices of delivery.
What I had written about in said column wasn’t that technology had changed delivery, it was that it had changed access. Which is a significant distinction. When I was huddling with my radio late at night when I was eight or ten or twelve, it was because that was the only medium on which I could hear music. (I am old enough that MTV did not exist when I was eight or ten or twelve.) The riches available online, from myspace to last.fm to excellent sites like this one run by independent record stores, long ago blew up radio’s distribution monopoly.
You don’t need to huddle with a radio long after dark to hear new music; you can form that romance or connection with a hundred other things.
This is the heart of the problem.