Doom of ‘big radio’ spells trouble for local markets

Radio has long since been an industry pillar when it comes to advertising, but those days are coming to a crashing and unfortunate end.  Big radio networks like iHeart, ClearChannel and even CBS radio are struggling financially.  These companies have taken on a significant amount of debt in building their networks, and local programming is racking up the hit points. 

But now, they’re not raking in the bank the way they used to before the technology boom gave listeners better, customizable digital listening options. There are literally hundreds of options for syndicated programming, streaming music, podcasts, etc.

As a result, radio conglomerates are consolidating and the local programming shows are being replaced by nationally syndicated programs. The problem with that strategy is local radio has always hung its hat on being, well…”local.” But if the big conglomerates are struggling, what’s next?

Conglomerates are already racing to the bottom for “lower rates” but if in selling off stations, and truly becoming local media again, the fear remains rates could go through the roof, but that’s a big IF at this point.

There’s no substitute for local content. Local, terrestrial radio provides something to its listeners that nationally syndicated programming and streaming services cannot: perspective.  

 

What Gragg says…

Local is important. Local is who you want to target first: your community, your people. Without local radio it gets harder to reach out to the people closest to you, the ones you’re counting on for repeat business.

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