Having immersed myself in all things radio for the last few years, I thought I'd write about what I think the future holds for the medium once affectionately known as the wireless.
RADIO WILL ADAPT
Radio has already had to adjust to the converging media world. All credible stations provide a listen live, podcast and other online extras that add value such as video, webcams and blogs.
Radio will have to adapt further if it is to survive. On demand will inevitably expand, with more material available as podcasts. On demand could end up as more popular than live broadcasting. If so, the BBC’s pledge to do fewer television programmes and do them better will be replicated. Radio stations would plough more resources into fewer programmes and repeat them in the schedules. Crucially these programmes will soon be available to download on your mobile phone in seconds.
Even when video is truly ubiquitous online and on mobile, there will still be a demand in one form or another for live radio. Media users more than ever crave live news and sport, and the medium of radio will exist to provide this for years to come.
RADIO WILL INTERACT
I believe radio stations will have to further interact with their listeners (or should it be advocates?) through new techniques such as ‘watch live’ where they will be able to watch the presenters presenting their show on mini video screens on their radios and on their mobile phones. This will also mean more advocate-led programming – they will be further empowered to produce their own radio features and shows, and stations will have to tap into this by empowering them. The BBC, amongst others, already does this through projects like Video Nation and Capture Wales. I believe this will expand through new concepts like giving listeners the chance to create their own radio content by recording material on their mobiles then editing it on free, downloadable audio editing software.
I believe that as long as radio continues to adapt, it'll survive long into the future.