Tuning out

Tuning out

: Fred Wilson talks on a panel at Infinity Radio (as in Viacom and Howard Stern) about what radio will be like in 2010, for like all big media companies, they’re worried about where this is headed. He shares his prognostications here.

The interesting flipside to the discussion he takes part in is what new disruptive opportunities there are for us citizens.

Internet radio hasn’t taken over the world yet but I think it will grow: Any of us can start a live radio station (but if you play music, you’ll need to pay fees for it). The problem today is distribution: The audience doesn’t expect to be tethered to a wire to the Internet to listen to radio. Radio is supposed to be everywhere. Once high-speed wireless connectivity is ubiquitous, online radio will be everywhere. But I don’t know when that will happen.

So I’ve been thinking that the first thing we should be doing — if we want to make radio — is to produce for iPods (and other MP3 players) so that our listeners can take our programming anywhere. I liked it when Chris Lydon interviewed people in the worlds of blogs and politics and I could take his interviews with me (sadly, he has all but stopped as he works on radio). I keep looking at Audible to find other nonfiction audio to hear but I don’t find much.

So what could you produce with a PC and a microphone that would be worth hearing on an iPod? Interviews? Jokes? Audio posts (what if 10 bloggers got one minute each to speak on a topic each day)? Arguments (our version of talk radio)? Reviews? Man-on-the-street reviews (ask people what they think of a movie or restaurant as they leave)? None of the above?

  • Andy

    INTELLIGENT CONVERSATION. That is what I would pay to receive. IFC runs Dinner for Five that is all conversation with people in film. Some I am surprised to learn are deeper, more aware and versatile. Others are slower, thicker. All have experience and perspective. Why is this half hour so entertaining?
    Give me conversations that speak to “what if” about the future. Let me listen to smart people present their vision of where things are going.
    DO NOT give me “balanced” anything. Balanced = yelling and I have had enough just surfing the dial.
    MAN IN STREET is dealing with idiots. Do not give me put down, cutesy, smart remarks from the “back of the classroom” crowd. I have had enough of them.
    I thirst for the conversations of adults.

  • A good idea for creating radio programming of your own is to buy the comic book, “Radio: An Illustrated Guide” drawn by Jessica Abel, who co-wrote the comic with Ira Glass of public radio’s “This American Life”.
    It’s a very good guide to how to tape interviews, create narration, and edit it all together to create compelling radio.
    It is a must read for anyone who wants to do DIY radio. It’s only five bucks (including shipping), details on how to buy here

  • Personally, I’d love to see some of the stuff happening over at PBX.org and Transom.org find its way into an RSS feed!

  • Getting around the music part is easy: go find some good local talent who write their own tunes.