I’m as likely to trumpet the threats and opportunities to radio of new technology as anyone. But even in so doing we would be wise to take heed of the spot-on words of Mark Cuban:
It was Aaron Spelling I believe who said that “TV is the path of least resistance from complete boredom”. Which is another way of saying that its easier to watch TV, than to sit there and do nothing. Which describes exactly how people make most of their choices in life. They take the easy way. They take the path of least resistance. There are certain things in life we all have to do. There are certain things in life we choose to do. Then there is everything else. The things we do to kill time. In every case, all things being equal, we choose the path of least resistance. Understanding this concept is key to making good business decisions
Without any question, radio is a time-killing tool. And, more than TV, radio is a background tool which, if anything, means its desirable when we want a path even less than the one of least resistance.
The sad fact is that the new technologies stand to eat away at our industry from the edges. The opportunities to shore up those edges abound, if we’re smart enough to see them.
But in the process let’s not forget that between the techno-edges is the great proverbially unwashed mass.
I don’t say this to suggest you shouldn’t worry. Worry and act, you should.
But as you endure the industry’s propagandistic zeal to complicate radio via HD, remember Mark’s words: “we choose the path of least resistance.”
And telling the listening public that you’ve solved a problem which doesn’t exist is only likely to increase, not decrease, resistance. Trying to enforce the will of an industry on an audience that has all the control, all the leverage, is naive and foolish. Better to learn their wants and needs and deliver them in spades.
“We choose the path of least resistance.”