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The papers selected for this topic are "James Cridland's future in broadcasting" and "NextRadio at an early point." The first paper, written by James Cridland, analyzes the usage of classical radio in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia by a compilation of news articles on the topic. Cridland claims that "classic dull radio remains high" in the United States and that producers of contemporary, more interesting radio, Pandora, are losing out and searching for a buyer, even if the dominance of conventional radio in Australia and the United Kingdom is not as obvious (Cridland, 2017). These statements are supported by research which shows that broadcast radio is still the most popular means through which radio is consumed in the United States. The report states that roughly 63% of all music fans use conventional radios most for discovering new music. But this does not mean alternate forms of radio consumption are not enjoying a rise in popularity. Although younger consumers typically prefer advanced technology, the conventional means of discovering music such as word of mouth remain strong drivers. According to Pew Research Center, the number of individuals who listened to FM/AM radio remained constant over a ten year period. This trend is also present in other countries. Ofcom which is the UK's regulatory body for telecommunications and broadcasting recently published a digital lab report which showed that the market still preferred FM radios to receivers.
The second article, written by Brad Hill, is titled “NextRadio in very early stages.” It addresses the notion that NextRadio is the direction that the radio industry will take in the future. In essence, NextRradio is a tuner for smartphones introduced in 2013 with improved interactivity on screen. In this article, Jeff Smulyan proposes that this development could replace conventional radio once phone manufacturers agree to activate the dormant FM chips present in the smartphones (Hill, 2017). He also argues that the application has many strong points such as data and power savings and better reception in comparison to streaming. However, Smulyan also acknowledges that NextRadio is still in the early stages of development, implying that the widespread use of this product could delay for a while. These concerns are reflected in reactions to the slow adoption of digital audio broadcasting and the continued popularity of traditional radio. Although it is generally believed that digitization results in the death of analog predecessors, this may not be the case as observed in the radio industry. This exception may arise from the fact that radio is the oldest form of mass media communication. It was the first form of social media allowing people to interact and express ideas in their community. This could explain the longevity and distinctiveness of the tool. In view of this, it may be expected that analog and digital radio will continue to grow simultaneously. Until Wi-Fi and 3G achieve uniform coverage and reliability, the radio may continue to be a preference for most consumers, particularly those living in rural areas. Traditional radio has been a part of human society for a considerably long period and has been incorporated into the daily culture. The transition from such an established mass media would require a long period.
Cridland, J. (2017). James Cridland’s Future of Radio: FM-only radio sets to be made illegal; streaming music use increases in Canada, and is Pandora in trouble? RAINNEWS; https://rainnews.com
Hill, B. (2017). Emmis’ Smulyan: NextRadio in “very early stages”. RAINNEWS: http://rainnews.com
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