FM/AM still rules

Discussion in 'Tuners' started by audiomagnate, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. audiomagnate

    audiomagnate AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,609
    Location:
    Atlanta
  2. jlovda

    jlovda Things I loved from the 60's and 70's Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,071
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    If this is true be prepared for more commercials and less music, even on "commercial-free" stations.
     
  3. CT_Ohio

    CT_Ohio New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Ohio
    I listen to FM radio much of the day when I'm working; and then if I don't catch the Reds game on TV, it's on 700 AM. So I guess I'm part of the 51%.

    Have recently been goofing around with online opinion/survey sites, and there are a significant number of them concerning traditional broadcast media vs. mobile/streaming/'new' media; I don't recall doing the Edison Research one cited in the article, but did other similar ones. Billions in ad revenue are riding on how it shakes out.
     
  4. hjames

    hjames Nabbed ... Subscriber

    Messages:
    10,297
    Location:
    VA near DC
    Not in the DC market!
     
  5. AlTinkster92

    AlTinkster92 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,978
    Location:
    NC
    Grew up in No Va back in the 60's......... FM was king there back then. I still miss the old WPGC! :) Al
     
    turnitdown likes this.
  6. RxDx

    RxDx Speaker collector Subscriber

    Messages:
    880
    Location:
    Virginia, the colonies
  7. Jody Thornton

    Jody Thornton Just Enjoying the Music

    Messages:
    748
    Location:
    Richmond Hill, Ontario
    This seems slanted to bolster the industry. Really radio is on its last legs. I should know. I work in it. The car is its last stronghold, and when reliable streaming becomes commonplace, AM and FM is DONE!
     
  8. Mamrak1

    Mamrak1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    706
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I always wonder who commissioned those surveys. Some group from the AM/FM industry would hardly show results stating that streaming is overtaking them.
     
  9. Jody Thornton

    Jody Thornton Just Enjoying the Music

    Messages:
    748
    Location:
    Richmond Hill, Ontario
    Besides all of the recommendations for survival involve serious adaptations to adopt digital services. That means that actual AM and FM signals become marginalized, so even it's best chances for survival don't equate to longevity for users of this "Tuners" forum.
     
  10. amptramp

    amptramp Active Member

    Messages:
    360
    Location:
    Mississauga Ontario Canada
    FM and AM still rule? Not a chance, even on the road. There was a time when cars had (optional) AM radios and you selected a station manually, so you would not be inclined to change the station. Then pushbutton tuning came along and you could have several choices just as easily as one. Then FM came along and offered better fidelity and noise limiting at the cost of erratic reception in urban areas where skyscraper framing was on the order of several FM wavelengths causing fading. Then along came FM stereo and AM started its long decline and reassignment to talk shows and sports where stereo made no difference and oldies music was still played that was originally recorded in mono. Some car radios added stereo AM but by that time, the damage had been done. Then car audio added non-radio media: 8-track, cassette, CD and an auxiliary input that let you run an iPod or MP3 player in a car. About half of my driving time is spent listening to CD's. Not a good omen for the future of radio. If I had advertising money to spend, I would be aware that even if you were always listening to something, that something would be recorded music that could not be reached by an ad and that would be about half the time (for me - it may vary for others).

    Radio could have stayed in the "driver's seat" at home as well as in the car. The greatest benefit of radio was that radio stations could air and promote new music but they completely missed the boat on this one. The music labels were the ones to have Artist & Repertoire people going out and beating the bushes for new acts whereas radio was content to let the labels do all their decision-making for them. Radio should have had the decision makers, not the record labels, but radio missed the opportunity to remain relevant. The payola scandal of 1957 where record companies or rock groups paid the station to play their records effectively put an end to any hope of radio being the decision maker ever again.

    A lot of great acts were either never signed or signed with labels that had very little presence in the business. But the labels soon proved to be a rapacious influence in the industry. As Hunter S. Thompson said:

    “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

    He was correct about the greed but not specific about who is doing the stealing. A band that I know (The Joys, based in London Ontario, about 100 miles west of here) was offered a contract and were excited about it - until they read the terms. The label wanted to:

    1. break up the band and take only the lead singer, Sarah Smith (a great rocker with a great set of pipes),

    2. the label would get almost all the income from CD sales (she would get $1 for each CD sold),

    3. and would assume ownership of all material she had written, past present and future,

    4. she would have to appear where they wanted, when they wanted and conform to the fashions and style they wanted.
    They declined to sign and got a distribution contract to make CD's and deliver them to record shop shelves and were still looking for a label contract with acceptable terms when their lead guitarist decided had had enough of the road and settled down to become a recording engineer, effectively ending the band. In fact, many signed bands are so upset with their CD revenue (they may get $1 from each CD sale and the label gets the rest but some rap stars got as little as 31 cents) that the bands recommend their fans download songs for free. One of the Joys songs, “Do I”, has been selected as the theme for a television program and was in a movie, so they are using every other avenue available.

    This is nothing new. Atlantic records started as a competitor to Mercury in the 1950's with a promise that the artist would get 5 percent of sales when Mercury was offering 7 percent. So why did Atlantic survive and not Mercury? Because no one signed with Mercury got their 7 percent (or pretty much any money). And some of the early black singing groups only got a one-time cash deal – sometimes as little as $30 – for transfer of ownership of a song because rock and roll was originally distributed via "Race Music" departments of the record labels.

    More recently, the RIAA attempted to get payment for every blank recording medium sold. They claimed it was to go back to the artists. Well how did they know who was being recorded so they could get money back to them? They didn't. And they never paid anything to anyone. Eventually, there was the threat of a RICO act prosecution for charging a private tax and this sort of disappeared with the demise of the cassette. And with semiconductor and hard drive digital media, they could not get anyone to pay.

    If you go to a party today, there is almost no correlation between what you hear at a party and what gets air time on radio. The most recent party I was at had music from a laptop - if you did not like the music that was playing, you could click on something else and get some control over what you were hearing, and you could see the about 30 items on the playlist.

    Here in Canada, the government initiated a Canadian Content policy requiring stations to play 25% (at first) and later 33% Canadian Content in the early 70's to try to get local groups on the air. The result was disappointing - we got the Guess Who, Anne Murray and Gordon Lightfoot in endless heavy rotation for two years until station managers wised up and realized there were other artists out there and their programming people (sometimes they were American programming consultants) had no clue. This eventually gave Canadian music some of the vitality it currently has. The content rules use the "LAMP" rule - of lyrics, artists, music and production, at least two categories have to be exclusively Canadian to be counted as Canadian content. This has resulted in some strange artifacts - some Aerosmith records are Canadian Content. However, this was a shameful political move necessitated by an equally shameful lack of talent development in radio.

    Radio is supposed to be responsible to the public and stations are allocated based on the format (light rock, country, oldies rock etc.) for each location. I would like to see a new license category for "new artists" that would follow the same format as the Canadian Content laws where a station would have to play a certain percentage of unsigned or uncharted artists. Just to be diabolical, the rule should be that they could play artists that finally made it to the big time (charted, signed etc.) - but only if they had played them before they "made it". In fact, I think we could transform some stations by refusing license renewal in any other category, just to jump-start the process. Nowhere is it written that the major networks or station owners should retain their stranglehold on the market, so new entries should be welcome.

    I was in public school for the beginning of rock, so I recall when the weekly charts came out, everyone treated it as information vital to your social credibility in school. The hit parade had been developed (first in country music) and the concept was that there was one list that applied to everything - Elvis would compete on the same chart as Ferranti and Teicher (piano duos) or Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Radio was our friend, especially in a world that considered rock and roll as subversive as being a teenager. It helped to have larger-than-life DJ's like Wolfman Jack and Cousin Brucie (Bruce Morrow). But the hit parade itself was a major problem for new indie music that was played in local clubs - if you didn't get nationwide exposure, you didn't get on the chart. And there was a lot of backroom decision making - who decided what was the "hit" record on an album with a dozen songs? People we never heard of who were responsible to no one.
     
    Jody Thornton and Alobar like this.
  11. beans

    beans Got arth-a-ritis

    Messages:
    3,734
    Location:
    Houston
    :lurk:
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
  12. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,714
    Location:
    SE Alaska
    Good news for radio. Hopefully not a majority of those radio listeners are listening to loud angry blowhards spewing forth seemingly nonstop over the airwaves. :rant:
     
    Pio1980 likes this.
  13. damacman

    damacman Blown and Injected Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,488
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    Grew up in Beltsville in the '70s and WPGC ruled the air!
     
  14. 432HzBob

    432HzBob AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    West Coast
    Johnny Fever, Venus Flytrap and WKRP in Cincinatti are still tops in my book!
     
    91r100gs likes this.
  15. peerson

    peerson Active Member

    Messages:
    414
    Location:
    Kansas City area
    I can honestly say that (except for the vehicle-and then infrequently) I almost never listen to the radio. Typically for weather information and the occasional KC Chiefs game. The only "Classic" Rock Station in KC plays the same looping tape continuously. If you want to hear the same songs over and over and over...you listen to the radio, here.
     
  16. Eric n Kc

    Eric n Kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,378
    Hey
    What he said.
    My question is. Why play the same 20 songs day in day out? Don't they want listeners? Don't they want advertisers? I guess that's 3 questions.
    I find myself listening to Topeka 106.9 (country) and 100.3 (rock) . Kansas city has 90.1 but they play all kinds of music that makes it hit and miss.
    I love me some old tuners but I have to admit they don't get much play time. Sadly. Eric
     
    musichal and Jody Thornton like this.
  17. c.coyle

    c.coyle Fighting the Dunning-Kruger Effect Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,618
    Location:
    40.333468 -76.423711
    An old fashioned +1. There is more good music - and more variety of good music - today than at any other time in history. It just takes a little effort to find it. Those who say otherwise have their heads up their woofers.

    As merely a humble consumer, I see a direct relationship between the decline of the radio / recording industries, and the dawn of easy, decentralized distribution (and marketing) via the internet. For artists nowadays, it's probably harder to get rich just off record sales, but they have some control over their fate.
     
    Jody Thornton likes this.
  18. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,714
    Location:
    SE Alaska
    A question needs asking here. Exactly who is "Insider radio.com" and how how do they come up with these startling stats? Being untrusting of statistics in general, and industry in particular, I am asking myself how they really could know how many people are actually tuned into their airwaves, and for how long? Streaming is easy, there is a direct connection, and artists are paid a cent or 2 on each song streamed based on that. Record sales should be as easy as well, based on sales.

    But radio? The only way they could possibly know is by survey, probably taken over the phone, with its margin of error. Thing is a poll is only as legit as the ones taking it, and if they are not neutral there is going to be much inaccuracy because of that, and if they are neutral mostly (Nielsen) then they still have to apply extreme extrapolation to whoever they called upon (that didn't actually hang up right away) (or in the case of Nielsen, who they paid a few dollars to). And when some outfit who calls themselves Insider Radio makes a claim, is it for our benefit or perhaps for radio's sole income stream, its advertisers? They did go on about how small of a market Pandora Free has in comparison, ignoring the advantages of the direct advertising the internet has over radio by targeting ads based on listeners searches and purchases made over the web. I guess I question how they got their statistics, how legit it was and wonder if this isn't a last gasp effort to save a sinking ship.

    Interesting take from a Canadian perspective.
     
    amptramp likes this.
  19. hjames

    hjames Nabbed ... Subscriber

    Messages:
    10,297
    Location:
    VA near DC
    AM died years before - well, there was WHMC at 1150AM for the prog and album rock crowd ...
    and a few dribs and drabs of HighEnergy Jingles and Top 40 radio if that was yer thing
    ... jabber jocks and pop wasn't my thing ...

    I grew up in Burtonsville in the 70s - WGTB (DC) for the college and euro-market ...
    WHFS (Bethesda, MD) ruled the dial for blues and the granola rockers,
    and WWDC (Silver Spring) for the FM hard rockers.
    (and WKTK in Catonsville, outside Bal'mer)
     
  20. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,961
    Location:
    Sterling, VA
    Later, I had actually heard of WHFS before I even moved to the area (late '90s) as it was spoken of in reverent tones by college friends from the DC area (we went to school in Pittsburgh, where the college stations were where it was at; WDVE was a good commercial classic rock station but that was about all we had save for WPTS and to a lesser extend WRCT.)

    Sadly, by the time I got here, WHFS was on a downhill slope and eventually one day it just disappeared and was replaced by El Zol. I had to restrain myself when I got to work that morning and my Puerto Rican buddy was gushing about this great new radio station...
     

Share This Page