The one constant in life is change.
What makes our world different than the world we grew up in is the rate of change in technology.
Adoption rates for technology over time according to the U.S. Census, shows us that it took about 45 years for 25% of Americans to adopt electricity, 35 years for 25% of Americans to adopt the wired telephone, about 32 years for 25% of Americans to adopt radio, 25 years for TV, 15 years for personal computers, 12 years for mobile phones, 8 years for the internet and about 5 years for 25% of Americans to adopt smartphones.
Nearly nine in ten Americans today are on the internet and 77% of Americans now own a smartphone according to Pew Research.
Most people who have any sales training at all know all about “KISS.” Some say it means “Keep It Simple Stupid” and others will tell you it means “Keep it Short & Simple.”
But either way the message is the same, keep things simple.
“You have to work hard to get your thinking clean and make it simple.”
Quite possibly our biggest challenge in the 21st Century is to keep up with the rate of accelerating change.
The More Things Change, the More They Are the Same
I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase uttered more than once in your lifetime. Every generation has thought that the rate of change was beyond their ability to cope. A couple of centuries ago Henry David Thoreau told his contemporaries to “Simplify, simplify, simplify.”
Technology – especially information technology, the basis of our social networks – is speeding up exponentially. The famous Moore’s Law predicted this for computer chip development.
Exponential growth rate is an evolutionary process.
In his book “The Singularity Is Near” Raymond Kurzweil showed how civilizations advance through building on the ideas and innovations of previous generations, a positive feedback loop of advancement.
Each new generation is able to improve upon the innovations of the past with increasing speed.
Kurzweil wrote in 2001 that every decade our overall rate of progress was doubling, “We won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st Century – it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate).”
Only 17 years into the 21st Century and it feels like Kurzweil nailed it with his prediction.
It Still Takes 9 Months to Make a Baby
While it’s true so much of our world is uncontrollably speeding up, we are still human beings and we still pretty much move at the same pace biologically as we always have. Technology doesn’t transform our human nature.
Our need for love, touch, companionship and community will always be part of our humanity no matter what technology brings.
Radio Reaches 93% of Adult Americans Every Week
The latest Nielsen Audio research reports “radio leads all other platforms when it comes to weekly reach (93%) among adult consumers – and with new insights available to compare radio to other platforms on a regular basis, it’s clear that radio is an integral part of media consumption for millions of Americans.”
Great radio makes a human connection, engages its community and is a companion.
Radio’s best feature in a world of complex technology is that it’s simple to use.
It’s that simplicity I believe that makes it the #1 media favorite.
6 responses to “Radio’s Best Feature”
Getting to Simple gets complicated. The Gate Keepers of Change often demand more than “just the facts, M’am.” Larry Gilpin, a superb TV GM, accomplished decisions standing next to the news director in the men’s room. A couple of minutes and done! Others feel the need for multiple meetings, added discussion and still delay. Radio is #1 because it turns on a dime, without cost. Adjusting presentation, liners, promos, schedules, newscasts or playlists are not line items. It’s knowing how to call plays with best use of your team and resources. As long as people can hear, radio will be relevant. And, if smartphones are today’s transistor sisters or steroids, no worries. Just make sure we can always easily tune in licensed broadcast on the dashboard! Reaching 93% of Adult Audiences Every Week, begs for fresh, new, mass-appeal, profitable content. Staying the same is the simple way out. Over and out. Eliminating complication to enable radio evolution is simply the best! Congratulations on your impending graduation, Professor Taylor! Clark in Boston. http://www.broadcastideas.com
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I reflect most memorably the dawn of the XM/ Sirius advance on our heritage medium. The whole of us were predicting the end of over the air broadcast as we knew it. We forgot the doom predicted with 8 tracks, CD’s and the continual evolution of new technology as a threat to our model, both business and technologically. Radio has been enduring and adaptive. The end-users will always be looking to new devices and that is what, I believe, will drive the evolving business model to be creative and sustainable. Of course, it will never be the same, but neither are we.
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You got that right Joe. Thanks for adding your thoughts. -DT
So, is XM/Sirius and other streaming services viewed by Nielsen as “radio”?
Here’s how Radio World reported on your question: http://www.radioworld.com/news-and-business/0002/trusted-currency-a-chat-with-nielsen/339515
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