The Radio Revolution

Finally, the digital revolution, after taking a bit of time arrives and reworks radio to its core. Radio shows became digital bits, shared all over the net and platforms (ipod, ipadm cell phones....etc) and are now delivered through many ways, from Web to satellite to cell phones.
Listeners no longer have to tune in at a certain time to catch a show. They are the decision makers, they tune in, out, choose what songs are played at a certain time, interact with the radio staff & presenters...Listeners are simply finding alternatives to what they want.

As digital forms of radio proliferate, listeners are enjoying an abundance of new programming with much of it still lacking a proven business model. In other words, radio is still losing its revenue models. For radio to make money, execs must be as innovative with the business model as they are with technology. Satellite is losing money, but its subscription approach (think OSN now with the premium package subscriptions, HD box service...etc) is expected to pay off in a couple of years. Now, Net radio players and cellular services are experimenting with subscriptions, too.

As old-fashioned radio struggles, listeners are creating the future: Podcasts (which are starting to get more and more sponsorships) are a big boom around the globe and a sure way to try and get more listeners.
The revolution also will follow TV with the HD sound. Yes, high definition sound will be a key in the revolution of radio itself. Subscriptions to HD channels, choosing your own sound, and getting things your own way are just a few of the options that go with this change.

Thanks to the new technology, more people than ever will be creating and listening to audio programming in coming years. The radio industry is turning into a free-for-all, on this note let's take a look at the 3 major English speaking stations in Lebanon:

Firstly, I'd like to start with a messy NRG: NRG started well but suddenly it was overshadowed by the two major stations and in two different ways we will discuss below. But it is important to note that playing "good music" on your airways nowadays will not cut it! Interaction and communication with your audience is key in addition to separating yourself from the crowd, something NRG is still stalling with and not really doing well.

A major player in the scene and a personal favorite is Radio One. They're doing it right! They have a full schedule of weekly shows that spans a staggering 12 hours with interactions on several digital social networks, they are in a constant conversation with their listeners, adapting to what the listener wants. They give and take and have successfully managed to get the advertisers and sponsors on board! The introduction of the Apps and the creation of a "Network of Music Stations" have made of them a great leader in the business and given them the insights they need to grow and develop even more! The radio has become much more personal and people can relate to it in a much more human way. From the way things are developing it sure is looking good for Radio One!

Another player on the scene is Mix Fm. They have taken a different route, but are still trying to follow on with the digital boom of radio. They weren't the first to successfully interact and promote their shows on Facebook or Twitter but they sure were the first on the Events front. They plan and produce some of the best events in the region something that needed to be developed further with the introduction of the Mix Productions company. But with this came a major stalling on radio production and programs (and they still are a radio station no?)....something I find really sad since they could've clearly aced it all to rapidly become the only leading player. Something that could have forced all the other players to follow the same path: imagine owning radio and events together...

For now, I'm keeping an eye out on things and how this whole music business is developing. What do you think? Will we, the people, get more power and influence? And what do you think of the stations in Lebanon?