Wednesday, July 27, 2005

"What do I have to do to get Audioslave on WKSS this week?!!?"

Apparently, bribe the music programmer. That's right, more than four decades after Alan Freed, the major record companies have learned nothing; apparently not even how to keep their unethical wheelings-and-dealings under wraps. Of course, payola has continued in varying forms ever since Freed was indicted in 1962, and I would hazard a guess that such practices are largely known (or at least assumed) and accepted by the consumer public as standard. But is this money well spent? Maybe I'm too much of an "outsider" in terms of what's popular with the great unwashed (full disclosure: aside from the CBC, I probably haven't listened to the radio in more than a year), but really, is radio still such an important arbiter of taste that it is actually worth the effort for record execs to bribe programmers for airplay? In the age of burned CDs, iTunes and mp3 blogs, do music buyers -- who, let's face it, are mostly young, tech-savvy types -- need the archaic, analog radio to tell them what's cool?

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The radio is a useless medium. It has been dead, in my opinion, for years now.

7/27/2005 11:54 a.m.  
Anonymous dog inwater. said...

I think the fundamental idea of radio istelf, some guy who plays music at will, is cool and very simple.

In my opinion, the endless commercials and the blabbering of personality DJs make radio absolutely unbearable. I really don't know how anyone can listen to radio commercials, and who are the idiots that pay to have their commercials on radio.

Rid the radio of commercials and DJs, and it would revolutionize the medium. They'd have to find some other way to make money I guess.

7/27/2005 5:00 p.m.  
Blogger Punk is Dead said...

Although I believe they still air commercials, the numerous "Jack" or "Bob" FM stations that are popping up across North America are largely DJ-less. They claim to have more diverse playlists than traditional stations (1000-1300 songs instead of the apparently standard 400-500). Of course, these "extra" songs are by artists such as Flock of Seagulls, but I guess there's no accounting for taste among whatever horrible demographic to which these stations cater. Also, they appear to have pushed "Oldies" stations off the air, which means a lot of fantastic, timeless music no longer gets any play.

I suppose your utopian version of radio (no DJ & no commercials) is being attempted by some of these newfangled PodCasters. Though I have an odd feeling that most of these are not what you are interested in (that is, a person or two rambling on ad nauseum with a bit of music thrown in for no reason), but I'm sure there are a few that are wholly devoted to various forms of music. Similarly, I'm told a number of satellite radio stations exist that have "obsoleted" the disc jockey to some extent, and as a bonus have greatly expanded playlists.

From an advertising perspective, it remains much cheaper to advertise on radio than on television. And the perception is that, at least during "rush hours," radio advertising reaches a fair amount of potential consumers. The trouble I think most of us have with radio ads is that they are of a poor quality, pretty much across the board. For that we can blame the medium as well as those persons who thought up and produced the spot. Though it should be said that the less expensive cost of radio promotion also lends itself to a lot of cheap but effective Public Service Announcements for a variety of noble, charitable causes that would otherwise have little ability to broadcast their message.

7/27/2005 11:28 p.m.  
Blogger The Fresh Young MikeyD said...

I really don’t get what all the fuss is about that being said you and I are likely too far removed form radio’s audience to notice.

Mp3 blogs are most defs the new radio. I'm not a big fan of Podcasting but now that it's integrated with iTunes I'm more likely to give it a shot. Perhaps the CBC Radio 3 and KCRW's podcasts are worth while. I'll check it out in the near future. If I'm listening to radio it's probably a stream from Seattle’s KEXP. God, do I wish we had a station like that in the G.T.A.! John in the morning is awesome.

7/28/2005 3:27 a.m.  

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