Is Radio Dead?

Write this down: Radio died today. Now, as a bit of trivia, do you remember the Exxon Valdez? It smashed some ice/iceberg and dumped oil all over Alaska. That was the height of radio listening in 1991. Hear that? Understand that radio WAS a thing that has been gliding toward a zero since 1991 (like newspaper). The first Bush was President. Radio has been in decline since 1991. *Mic drop* This is OVER.

My kids? Zero radio. Not some, zero. Our cars? I drive a 2020 Chevy and I get fresh content, like podcasts, Sirius, CNBC usually on 112, Spotify, Apple Carplay, Pandora. Me? No radio. 

After the first spot in a radio podcast of 6-7 total commercials, 40 percent of listeners punch out. They move to their next favorite station in their saved settings. Of these, Adult contemporary is the worst, with possibly the most options to leave during a time that advertisers want you to listen. People will skip those commercials, and not for malicious reasons. It is how we have been trained. Waze is THE traffic solution. So why listen to radio anymore? Asking for a friend. 

From an industry perspective, radio vendors have been the ones who started to push digital, websites, direct mail, and SEO. All things they are not experts in but have to sell to keep ailing companies coming back. It is left-handed at best. Don’t buy the gas station sushi y’all. Radio is over and they are pushing leftovers and stale products at best. 

There are two things I still like about radio, though I like them like I like a hug from a cousin. 

  1. Give me DJ endorsements with a local disk jockey as the first spot. The issue is that few remain as radio consolidates to syndication, where everyone is everyone. “Jagger” hosts a show from 200 cities and talks to you like a friend, but he knows no city and has no home. The radio landscape is barren and cold. 
  2. The other thing I have liked, though on the fence now, is “Weather and Traffic.” Yes, those open commercial pods. I like the position, but even here, people working from home don’t have a “drive time” or give a rip about traffic. New world. 

When the hot dog guy starts selling lollipops, it is a clear sign that hot dogs are on the way out. Demand for the platform is sinking, which tells me that Radio…is dead.

At Miller Ad Agency, we provide fresh media offerings that put your business on top, not repackaged solutions that keep you where you are, or worse. With our industry insight and trend knowledge, we will consistently update you with media products that are worth your time and investment, because we see that 21st century companies need 21st century solutions.