It is 2019 and the way how we consume music, talk radio and content overall is changing every single day. Still, I believe that the way we are going is that traditional FM radio is going to end at some point.
So, what do I mean by that?
What I mean by that is that if you look inside newer cars, a lot of them have Apple’s CarPlay, Bluetooth and auxiliary ports. This means that the average person is using one of those features to access their music and podcasts.
The reason for this is that young people, even middle-aged people, are catching up and jumping on the streaming services for music and podcasts, meaning that people are not listening to the traditional FM and AM radio.
Right now, FM radio does not really serve a purpose. Well, maybe it does for older and old-fashioned people, but overall, it does not serve a point. We have radio stations in this country that broadcast music genres such as Top 40, pop, rock, alternative, metal, country, rap and this list goes on and on.
Services like Apple Music and Spotify have been ways that millennials and young people have been combating the use of FM radio.
Why don’t millennials and young people want to listen to the radio, you might ask?
We don’t need it for music anymore. Any song you want to listen to can be accessed on Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube, and they can get it played in their car with CarPlay, Bluetooth, an FM transmitter (what I use) or an auxiliary cable. If you pay for Apple Music or Spotify Premium, you don’t get ads either, therefore, it’s just you and your music.
No longer do we have to call in to a radio station to ask the DJ to play that awesome new song. The radio stations are no longer the exclusive place to access new and great music. Your smartphone can do it for you.
Even if you use a satellite radio service like SiriusXM Radio, the service can be accessed on CarPlay and every other device imaginable. If your car does not have CarPlay, you can hook it up with Bluetooth, an FM tuner, or auxiliary cable. It just works and there are so many ways to do it.
SiriusXM Radio app on CarPlay. Image courtesy of 9to5Mac.
Some people may say that talk radio will keep traditional FM and AM radio going. I don’t think so.
Podcasts like The Apple Bitz XL, Appleosophy Weekly, The Ben Shapiro Show and any sort of talk show in general that is syndicated nationally can be picked up on a smartphone. A lot of talk shows do put their live show in the format or version of a podcast later on so that people who may have missed it still have a chance to listen to it.
Even Colin Cowherd’s show on FS1, The Herd with Colin Cowherd, is televised and broadcasted on the radio nationally and people can listen to it in audio/podcast form after the show has aired. I think that says something.
“But what about emergencies or school cancellations?”
Again, you can get this all on your smartphone from the local news stations, media outlets and social media itself. The radio does not and cannot exclusively hold the information.
Now, I will say in places like New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami and other select cities, FM radio will still be there. However, for those radio stations in Grand Island, Nebraska, Sioux City, Iowa, or Deadwood, South Dakota, I think the future is bleak.
If I were running a business or was a marketer of some sort, one of the last places I would drop money in would be local radio advertising. I’d be focusing my money and resources on other digital methods such as Spotify (for people who do not pay for Spotify Premium) and/or Pandora Radio ads. For the visuals, I’d be putting ads on Hulu and live TV streaming services because that’s where the attention is now.
I don’t hate the radio, I’m just accepting the facts of our society today, the generation that is out there now and how the tech in cars, internal or external, is changing so rapidly. Meanwhile, the radio is staying the same.