There are some things in life you can’t have too much of.
You can’t have too much fun.
You can’t have too much wisdom.
You can’t have too much love.
Too Many College Bowl Games
My university invested a ton of money to upgrade to Conference USA. We won our bowl game in Florida this year too. Did you watch our team win? Probably not. Turns out attendance at the plethora of Florida college bowl games is down.
“When the Outback Bowl in Tampa announced an attendance of 51,119 on Monday who watched Florida dismantle Iowa 30-3, it became the sixth college bowl game among eight in Florida to have a decline in attendance from the previous year,” reports the Florida Times-Union.
NFL TV Viewership Decline
Rolling Stone magazine wrote that one of the big stories of 2016 was the decline in viewership of the NFL. How big was the decline? Down 8%.
Prime Time games were down the most with an audience erosion of 10 to 12%.
The Federal Highway Administration says that by 2025 passenger miles traveled will have increased 72%. Why? Because that same agency says our population will have increased by 26% by that same year.
Tell me the road you commute to and from work isn’t already over congested.
Why is Country Music not the Top Radio Format in Nashville?
Nielsen Audio did a research study in 2014 and said the top radio format in America was country music. Ironically, the top radio station in Music City aka Nashville was NOT a country station. And it’s still not.
The latest ratings for Nashville show the highest rated country music station is ranked #7. The following radio formats are all ahead of that country station: Adult Contemporary, CHR, Sports, Urban AC, Talk and Variety Hits.
However, if you combine all of the audience of the many country format radio stations in Nashville, you will have a higher share of audience than the number one radio station commands.
Less Is More
So while you cannot have too much fun, wisdom, or love, you can have too many choices of products and services. Great for consumers’ maybe, but not for business owner/operators. Ask those who are dealing with the increase in college bowl games, NFL games, traffic congestion or playing country music in Nashville.
Radio is experiencing its own issues with supply versus demand.
The FCC will open up two windows for new translators this year. That’s after 750 new FM translators were signed on in 2016. Currently there are 19,778 FM signals beating the airwaves throughout America. Compare that to 4,669 AM radio stations currently on the air.
At the point in America’s history when the same number of AM radio stations equaled the number of FM radio stations on the air in America (end of 1992), 75% of all radio listening was to FM radio.
The Psychological Aspects of Overpopulation
This brings me back to my own undergraduate college days and psychology class. I remember learning about an experiment about putting too many rats into a confined space.
“As the number of rats rose above a certain level, the effects became rather dramatic,” wrote Albert J. M. Wessendorp, Psychologist-Psychotherapist. The rats displays behavioral disturbances, death rates rose, male rats began to show deviant sexual behavior and more. You can read more here.
Whales are known to commit collective suicide in order to control overpopulation.
What about you and me? How are we impacted by overpopulation (or over choice)?
The research says even human population growth is subject to limits. If we fail in controlling things ourselves, mother nature will begin to do it for us. (Think: Climate Change)
Radio Station Overpopulation
I love the radio business.
I share these thoughts because I’m concerned that the current overpopulation of the FM band is not taking into consideration the laws of physics or the impact of anything that gets overpopulated.
The FRC when it was formed (Federal agency that pre-dates our current FCC) it made it its mission to see America have quality radio stations or a large quantity of mediocre ones. We now look back on this period of time as “The Golden Age of Radio.”
Wessendorp writes that Maslow taught us that “People are only stirred into action when they feel their basic needs to be threatened.”
Have you looked at the revenue forecasts for radio for 2017? Are you feeling threatened yet?
What You Can Do
Next week I will continue with this topic and offer up what I believe is a solution to radio’s problem in an overpopulated entertainment world.