09/27

Long Live the Audio Industry

Interesting presentation from Forrester Research at today’s NAB showing some as yet unpublished research.

Although I can’t quote any numbers, one point in particular caught my attention:

Of all of radio’s competitors in the new audio media landscape (e.g., podcasting, streaming, downloading to PC, CD’s, mp3 players, satellite, etc.), the one that had the LEAST impact on radio listenership was…

CD’s.

That is, (in my words) all of the other media are closer radio substitutes than CD’s, which are really more of a complement to radio (since they offer a distinctly different benefit) than a substitute.

This echoes something I have argued for a long time: That if it looks and acts and sounds like a duck, it’s a duck. Or, more to the point, if it functions like a radio and takes the spot of radio in your life, it’s a radio. Or, put even differently, we’re in the same business as all that other stuff and we should act like it, plan on it, and invest accordingly.

The radio industry is dead. Long live the audio industry.

And guess who sits atop that hill?

I see them all around me here at the NAB Radio Show in Charlotte.

(P.S. As an aside, I might point out that this research makes a dandy case favoring XM and Sirius’s merger plans, since the majority of satellite radio users spend their audio listening time with media other than satellite radio, thus implying those media are substitutes or competitors to satellite and that satellite, like radio, is not an island unto itself and thus cannot be a monopoly)

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