The radio is dead, long love the radio

Tim Burrowes in Unmade:

The meat of the event came in the panel, which included SCA CEO Grant Blackley. As is regularly the case, he was refreshingly less guarded than most of his peers. He actually told us some of what he was thinking about the company’s future direction.

It included acknowledgement that the day will come when the transmitters will be turned off, and all audio is delivered digitally. While an obvious observation, there was a time not so long ago when that would have been sacrilege coming from the person who is also chairman of Commercial Radio Australia.

Slightly to the surprise (I think) of his colleagues, Blackley also confided that he is thinking about making Listnr the main company brand. “One day you might no longer see us called SCA. You might see us called Listnr. I could see a world where if it is in fact at the centre of our universe and it is driving all of our growth and ambitions, and it houses all of our product, maybe there’s a natural extension there… who knows?”

He knows. Given that he told the audience he’d made the same point on stage at the Radiodays conference in Europe a few weeks back, I think the answer to that is that he’s already decided.

Although this is a very obvious path for the radio industry to take, because it’s where the eyes in the ears and the attention has moved.

The one remaining issue is that as a technology, AM/FM radio, DAB digital radio, and digital television broadcast, are actually quite beautiful technologies.

High definition delivery of audio and visual signals across an entire city and there’s no ISP charging per gigabyte. The only thing required to listen is a simple radio or TV receiver. As much as radio and TV as we know it today will die, it will never go away, I wonder what form it will take in the future?

I wonder what will fill the FM channels in 20 years time?

I’ll always love the radio, it was a beautiful medium in 2009 when this photo of me was taken. Today, the same radio stations are playing the same tune in a different world. That season needs to end, but what does the next look like?