Radio & Digital Audio Chapter 8 - presented by Sarah Gump

  • Today, people want what they want when they want it.
  • Listeners go to directly what they want to hear.

How do you listen to music, talk shows, or podcasts?

  • 57% of American now listen to online radio monthly (Edison, 2015)
  • Monthly online radio listening has doubled since 2010, with more listening done through mobile devices than through desktops (Pew Research Center)
  • In 2015, 73% of American adults 18+ listened to radio online via smartphones (Vogt, 2015)
  • 76% market penetration of smartphones among all U.S. cellphone users under the age of 55 (Edison, 2015)
  • Therefore, listeners are using their mobile devices to expand beyond traditional terrestrial radio

Streaming services are dominating the radio industry: Pandora, iHeart Radio, iTunes Radio, and Spotify

“Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow”

  • The first words recorded by Thomas Alva Edison
  • This recording technology brought music, theater, politics, and education into the living rooms of many
  • Nikola Tesla is known as the father of modern communication technology
  • He had more than 700 patents, many of which are still used today
  • Some say Marconi invented the radio, but he just combined Tesla’s and others inventions

The first radio transmission of sound was on December 24, 1906 from Massachusetts to wireless operators at sea

  • Reginald Fessenden played O Holy Night and read a passage from the Bible
  • This was amazing, actual voices had never been heard from a radio
  • This was the foundation of the live music and news format

By the end of the 1930s, more than 80% of Americans owned a radio (Craig, 2006)

  • This was the first invention which allowed a connection to the world like never before
  • Listeners could listen to world news, live music, theatrical performances, Presidential addresses, and crisis updates – live

Radio dominated prime time programming, until the invention of the television after World War II.

  • Although radio no longer dominated, it adjusted to a new dominance.
  • Radio could access a place not yet reachable from television – the automobile
  • At this time, music became its main programming
  • By 1950s, the radio DJ was born and America’s Top 40 format ruled the airways (Brewster, 2014)
  • FM radio grew out of the counterculture of the 1960s
  • AM was too commercialized/ FM has better sound quality
  • Radio was the source for new music
  • At the same time, Compact Discs were being developed
  • They entered mainstream during the 80s and 90s

Digital Audio: $1 Billion in Revenues

  • The digital audience is a great target with advertisements
  • Radio Spot Advertising
  • Off air: banner ads, tile ads, pop-up ads and HD radio
On-Demand vs. Live-Streaming
  • Spotify and Google Play Music all users to specify which song they want to hear and immediately listen to it
  • Pandora and iTunes Radio creates playlists for their listeners based off of mood, favorite artists, and which songs get skipped, liked, and disliked
  • The algorithm then chooses songs from other artists which are similar in style
  • There are no DJs and advertisements can be avoided for a fee

The Streaming Music Revolution

  • Radio revenue from digital platforms hit $1 billion in 2016 (RAB report)
  • Largest revenue producers: Spotify and Pandora
  • Spotify: on demand music streamer - 90% of revenue from subscriptions
  • Pandora: live-streaming radio service - 80% of revenue from advertising

The music industry is not entirely in favor of streaming because of the decrease in music sales

The Copyright Royalty Board was formed in 2005.

  • It includes 3 U.S. judges
  • They set rates and terms for copyright statutory licenses

Webcasting royalties are determined by

  • Willing seller: record labels
  • Willing buyer: broadcast and webradio
  • This allows the music industry to lobby for royalties from both music providers

2015: significantly raised streaming rates for 2016-2020

  • Forcing many small webcasters out of business
  • This came about as the Webcaster Settlement Act (WSA) expired (2009-2015)
  • Royalties were based on size and activity level of the station
  • Protected small stations
  • Now they have to pay the same rate as Spotify or Pandora (17 cents per 100 streams)

Music Artists Say‘No more!’

  • A lot of radio professional and hobbyists claim the music industry is trying to make as large of profit as possible by demanding and lobbying for higher royalty fees.
  • Taylor Swift demanded revenue if her music was to be streamed on Spotify
  • 1) Free listeners must reside outside of the U.S.
  • 2) Americans must pay a fee to listen to her music
Swift stated, “I am not willing to contribute my life’s work to an experiment that I don’t feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists, and creators of this music”.
  • A subscription-based radio service that uses satellite technology to deliver its programming
  • The satellite radio is either purchased or found within a car.
  • Allows the listener to hear their favorite station wherever they are
  • Popular among travelers

It is a growth industry as technology progresses

  • 22 million subscribers in 2010
  • 39 million subscribers in 2015
  • A digital audio recording which can be downloaded onto a mobile device, a computer, or a media player
  • Radio broadcasts converted to a podcast are most popular
  • Podcasts have change the way people listen to education and informational content
  • Convenient medium for listeners to hear their desired content anytime

Factors to Watch

  • FM Radio in Smartphones
  • Radio Turns to Video

Getting a Job

  • Many job opportunities: DJ, program director, news reporter, marketing, social media manager, videographer, sound engineer
  • Useful degrees: mass communications, business, broadcasting


Created with images by Emilia113 - "Radio" • WDnetStudio - "music on your smartphone spotify music service" • LubosHouska - "vintage retro radio" • cogdogblog - "Tagged Radio" • David_Harvey - "IMG_2231" • cogdogblog - "Radio Free Strawberry" • France1978 - "Collection of Vintage Vacuum Tube Radios, Circa 1940s & 1950s" • Seattle Municipal Archives - "Radio room, 1963" • DayronV - "music studio music studio" • PublicDomainPictures - "cute female girl" • logan_x - "Podcast Normal" • Seattle Municipal Archives - "KOL Radio broadcast, 1939"

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