NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Changing listening habits

In the late edition George Boardman writes about, Keeping it local - KNCO and STAR stay vibrant 'the old-fashioned way',March 22, 2005
Naysayers have been writing and rewriting the obituary notice for the radio industry since television became popular in the 1950s.

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The emphasis on local programming also fortifies the stations against inroads from satellite radio services and the increasing popularity of digital music players.

Breck points out the two satellite radio services - XM and Sirius - currently have about 5 million subscribers between them.

"In their wildest dreams they'll get up to 20 million to 25 million subscribers nationwide. That means they'd have about 150 subscribers in this particular area," he said, "so it's not a real threat as far as numbers of people."

The iPod may be a bigger problem, but Breck believes its more of a concern for major market stations with little local programming and a cookie-cutter approach to music.
We bought a new GMC Pickup with XM Radio. It has changed our listening habits. Far less local radio, more ad free listening, without static or boring ads we have heard a thousand times. We still listen to some local talk, but with Fox News audio available on satellite or CNN if we want to see what the libs are thinking, it is hard to stay tuned to the local stations when static free options are available.

We are thinking about getting an XM receiver at home, but we already use the Sirius music channels on the satellite TV, which when feed into the Hi Fi fills the house with a great sound. Now that we have broadband, we use the radio feature of iTunes, or tune into XM Radio on the Internet while we are working at the computer. Again a change in listening habits. We have been early technology adopters, as early computer, cellphone, satellite TV, pre-internet network, and then Internet users. We tried some podding, but did not find any compelling content yet. Our changing listening habits maybe a harbinger for local radio. I listened to iTunes radio on the model broadband while typing this web log entry. Humm... more early web log adopting.

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