I feel that it is extremely important to point out that this podcast was originally aired in 1998. To me, it seems like the radio now is MUCH different from what Ira Glass was describing in This American Life. The radio is now used for much less meaningful reasons; it plays overplayed music and advertises for things that most people do not pay attention to because they are busy looking for a better song to listen to. I feel that during the time that Ira Glass was hosting the show, people were much more interested in hearing news and talk shows from their stations than they were in listening to the music; almost as if the music was an after-thought. Nowadays though, the script has flipped; it is almost all about the music and not nearly as much about what the DJ’s have to say. This is an interesting change of pace for our society but considering other changes that have occurred, this shift in interests makes complete sense. Unfortunately, at least here in California, I have never heard of a radio station that boasts a reader of newspapers as that of Gordon and Mike did for, “The core audience of this program is maybe 200 blind people in New England who actually hear the broadcast on special radios configured to receive its non-AM/FM signal.”
If I am being honest, the only thing I listen to the radio for is the music; I never listen to podcasts or talk shows. Nor do I make a habit of listening to commercials, I simply change the station when songs are not playing. Listening to this podcast was quite different for me, I had never really considered the different uses for the radio; especially historically speaking. It truly got me wondering how many other people are like me and surf through the channels without any regard for the rest of the content; how is this effecting the stations themselves? How does this effect the ability for businesses to advertise on the radio and actually gain buyers through this platform? Unfortunately, I feel that advertising through the radio these days may be a total waste of resources and going elsewhere for advertisement needs may be a better option both for financial reasons and customer reach.
I feel that the only logical way that radio will continue on in the same fashion that it currently works in is if nothing better comes along to replace it in vehicles. If something replaced radio in cars, I feel there would be no real purpose for radio any longer. However, I am quite doubtful that this will happen anytime soon because like Ira Glass mentioned when talking about “DJ Funky One” on the pirated radio, people enjoy listening to things that are out of the ordinary. If radio as an industry wants to stay alive, I would say they need to work on having more interesting content and not replaying the same exact song ten times in the same hour period. Personally, I love listening to the radio and I hope it doesn’t die out but after reading the bit about, “Pandora, in fact, has never been profitable, with more than $105 million in losses over the five fiscal years ending January of 2012.” This was truly astounding to me! I am constantly listening to Pandora when I am not in my car and I would have guessed that they were a very profitable company before reading this article. This just goes to show that the radio business is getting less and less desirable unfortunately and therefore has a greater probability of being replaced by something bigger and better.