Deaddrifts has excited a considerable number of screen phosphors lamenting the pathetic state of broadcast radio. Yet hope may come in the form of a mortal blow from space, allowing a more diverse, independent entity to rise from its grave.
Satellite radio may hurl the fateful spear to fall Levianthan. George Will noted today on radio listenership:
The fragmentation of the media market by technology is especially dramatic in radio. Just a blink ago the widespread lament was that a few providers, such as Clear Channel with 1,200 U.S. stations, were producing homogenized programming for a single mass market. Suddenly there is satellite radio. XM's more than 150 channels include Fungus ("punk/hardcore/ska"), Squizz ("hard alternative") and NASCAR2 ("in-race driver audio"). Sirius's more than 120 channels include one that is all Elvis, 24-7.
Not that satellite radio itself will ultimately be the champion of radio diversity (such a limited resource is bound to be centralized and homogenized) but it will render broadcast radio stations as a smoking pile of devalued debt. Smaller, regional concerns, our theory contends, will be able to buy the devalued stations and frequencies. And local access radio may be restored. While we wait, let's tune into the soothing sounds of Fungus Radio!