Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Radio is in denial. But they also may be onto something.

First and foremost: Yes that is a picture of Herbert Hoover. Yes, that Herbert Hoover, As in 31st president of the United States, Herbert Hoover. The very president who guided us through (or into) the abyss of the dark depression onset by the Wall Street Crash of 1929. And apparently Herbert Hoover kind of did a lot for the radio industry before he was president in one way or another. And therefore, when you Google image search  "radio" you are bound to come across this picture of the Hebert Hoover (of depression fame) listening to a radio... but note that he is not only listening to the radio, he is so posing for the cameraman at the same time. And if you ever wonder how to become president, we see no better proof than here: To be president you must not only be able to do something cool (like play football as in this photo of Gerald Ford), but also pose for the camera while doing something cool (like posing next to a dead elephant inferring that you shot it in this photo of Teddy Roosevelt). Also, being a male seems to help, but that is not relevant. Nor is much of this rant on presidential portraits...

The real point is this article about radio.

Here is what we learn: Radio DJs were ordered by a CBS radio head to start informing the audience more and more the name of a song and the artist of a song.

Apparently, the the past couple decades have been marked by less and less DJ talk (including the identifying of a certain song.) because for some reason radio executives thought people didn't like hearing other people talk. They thought we only wanted music.

They were so wrong.

Because, we really, could care less about the music.

We actually will listen to whatever our contextual peers listen to.

Thus we care more about the brand name behind the music (e.g. who sings the song)  than the song itself. That is, we care more about what the music represents via the artist who sings the song because it identifies with the culture we want to align ourselves to.

Take me, for instance...I like finding music that you haven't ever heard of. Yes, I'm that guy. Thus, when I listen to music, my question is, who sings this song? And if you haven't heard of the artist who sings the song, I will like it. It's that simple.

(I kid, I kid).

Okay, this is all cultural critique that is not in the article about the reentry of song and artist titles within radio.

But, I stand by my assessment because the article doesn't do the best job at explaining the importance of this transition except some consumer speculation....

However, there is one thing that must be considered regarding the article and radio:

 The article vaguely mentions that it was the music studio heads who made the recommendation to the CBS radio boss to put song title and artists over the air with the song itself.... this also translates: "Hey, we need money, and radio is failing and we don't want to acknowledge that radio is failing to the likes of smart phones & iPods because that may mean their jobs, so they have to find small details to change on radio to convince themselves that the problem with the decline of the music industry is not because of the internet but rather because DJs are forgetting to mention song titles on the airwaves.

Also, here is a picture of Richard Nixon bowling:

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