Radio and Podcasts: Not Just “Radio GaGa”
(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Radio broadcast has always had the ability to reach wide audiences with strong and influential messages which impact on society. Now the digital age is changing our habits to tune into news, providing us with channels to not only report on, but also to create our own information channels. A U.S. study commissioned by the digital audio advertising network TargetSpot found that internet radio listenership is on the rise and that 42 per cent of American homes listen to web based radio. It confirms that there has been a growth in other types of broadcast channels, giving people other choices.
One such alternative is U.S. Sea Change Radio, owned by Sea Change Media, which launched in January 2009. It is a nationally syndicated weekly radio show with podcasts covering social, environmental and economic sustainability, and giving scoops, exposés and airtime to different voices. One of its recent heroic guests was Azzam Alwash, who successfully launched an effort to restore the Mesopotamian marshlands in southern Iraq which had been drained, poisoned and burned under Saddam Hussein in the mid-Nineties. Alwash’s radio interview gave listeners an insight to his work in Iraq and about sustainable development, making the point that the Sumerians have practiced sustainable development in that region for the last 7,000 years!
Another worthy internet broadcast mention is Sodajerker, a show about song writing that offers independent podcasts featuring music legends such as Neil Sedaka, P.F. Sloan, Johnny Marr, and Neil Finn. Established, with hundreds of thousands of downloads under its belt, its roster of guests has to be seen to be believed. The show is fast becoming one of the most desirable outlets for internationally renowned songwriters to have intelligent, detailed conversations about the art and craft. Also, Sodajerker avoids the annoying advertising models used by so many popular audio shows.
Apple too, is diving into streaming music with a new service called iTunes Radio and announced its plans earlier in the summer. Similar to Pandora, iTunes Radio will create themed internet radio stations based on specific songs, and will also provide featured radio stations. The service will be free for users and will be supported by ads. However, if you're an iTunes Match subscriber, you'll get it ad-free.
This is the golden age for new media as we have the technology along with the professionals to deliver high quality services. The world too, now has a greater hunger for reliable, timely and useful information. The push for more channels and choices has fuelled this information revolution. Digital broadcasting and the internet are sweeping away the limitations of the analogue world, weakening the grip of government-owned platforms like we have seen in Iran and Egypt. Our cyber culture is controlled by the latest fast developing communication technology with characteristics of being networkable, dense, compressible, interactive and impartial. The next generation is growing up in a ‘cloud’ where they can easily access news and information on smartphones, providing them with information of their choice anytime and anywhere.
Photo Credit: PSD Graphics