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Music Radio's Challenges in the Digital Age
Luis Miguel Pedrero Estebanon 17 November 2013
Transcript of Music Radio's Challenges in the Digital Age
respond to the crisis in sales
Luis Miguel Pedrero Esteban
The first radio DJs were responsible for
shaping the taste and critical perception of teenagers
who, when adults, continued to listen not only to radio
but also music!
School of Communication • Pontifical University of Salamanca
MUSIC RADIO'S CHALLENGES
IN THE DIGITAL AGE
The digital ecosystem of
will it be ‘with’ or ‘without’
New sources to enjoy
Music radio emerged in the 50s with the support of
, but especially
, starting with
Radio disc jockeys
were probably the main reason why listeners came to discover, appreciate and
even buy music records
produced by singers they had never heard of before
1950s - 1970s
1980s - 1990s
2000 - present
A symbiotic relationship with the industry
= guaranteed, evolving and free content
By the late 70's music radio had become the most popular radio specialism worldwide due to:
Progressive diversification of formats
more listeners and better targeting
The credibility of its radio disc jockeys
= audience retention and acceptance
= easy of listening anywhere, especially when driving
In the future...
Pop music became a radio star
José Mª Íñigo y Tomás Martín Blanco
‘El Gran Musical’
A global exploitation of new musical idols
A progressive concentration of major labels
An intensive duplicating of their catalogue onto CD
Under the rules of this new model
(music is not culture,
it is a business),
most commercial radio stations decided
to do business with the record companies, but...
what did radio do to pop music?
The Top 40 stations
were identified with
world pop music stars
as an agent of homogenisation rather than a means of showing new talent
Adult formats stopped playing their own hits selection to become
repeaters of greatest hits collections
(fortunately with a additional new song or two)
As a result commercial radio was an almost
for the popularization of pop music
In the 90s it began to associate
more and more
with the songs and artists
, and less with disc jockeys and programmes
came the digital age...
The music that you can't hear here...
it's recorded in your heart
RADIO & POP MUSIC... WITH MUSIC INDUSTRY
At the beginning of
Rock&Roll, POP MUSIC was the PRIMARY CODE of RADIO
RADIO & MUSIC INDUSTRY... without POP MUSIC
NEW SOURCES TO ENJOY POP MUSIC... without RADIO
In the age of social media, where
90% of all media interactions today are screen-based
(from smartphones and tablets to laptops and TV)...
... there is a strong
new digital ecosystem for consumption of pop music
based on slogan “anything, anytime, anywhere”...
Digital life has changed the resources to
listening habits of the younger
Nevertheless, radio remains a
meeting point between pop music and listeners
and is trying to find its own role, particularly through smartphones
The main challenges to music radio in the digital age
Bring Back the Disc Jockey!
Music radio must reclaim ownership of
and to revive the
reputation of Disc Jockey
such as curator.
Disc Jockey is a lot more important than the musical content in communicating
the “identity” of the radio station, young or veteran!
Due to the slogan “less words, more music”, the emotional and passionate formats of 80s became in an
without soul. Only DJ can restore the soul of music radio, “the human connection”, even in a podcast!
Radio is not
In the internet era the main role of music radio is not ‘making hits’, but to capture the interest of teenagers:
a fun children experience with the radio is probably the only guarantee to their future, and music is the ‘key’.
Pop music is not
Pop music playing on the radio nowadays is just a
that young listeners can hear and even, ocasionally, buy (or something like that...)
“Studying Popular Music Culture”
Last Monday (07/09/2013)
Next Wednesday (18/09/13)
The digital music ecosystem multiplies every day...
but its essence remains overwhelming the same
Top 40 format may be the “music fans home” such as
perfect mediator between teens and pop idols
through: shows, interviews, music sessions, events, famous singers like a DJ's or, radio plays or, why not, music talent shows like “X-Factor”.
The edited music catalog allows
new music niche radios
, with differential content and it own discourse, especially in Spain.
Much of the success of the digital music platforms is its ability to absorb new trends, artists and songs outside the majors and radio stations:
There is too much music that Shazam does not still recognize!
Ten years later there are
the same music radio formats
the same absences!
The evolution of
Spanish music radio