The preferences, interests and attitudes of young people, shifting as they will, cause considerable anxiety within the media world. This is not particularly new. The young have irritated their elders forever. Accused, typically, of incessant devotion to fun young people are also insatiably curious. There’s a news story here.
Media consumers are, mostly, confined. They hear, see and touch what is nearest. This is called proximity, the branding concept considered the strongest. The web, smartphones and the rest of new media has the potential to change all of that, testing the ties that bind media outlets with their best friends. It is a challenge.
The great debate among radio programmers, raging for more than a generation, pits branding versus mechanics. Branding for radio is more than names – or name changes – and is the essence of image. Proponents fight the competitive battles with advertising and promotion. More tactical programmers fight with music rotations, word count and timing. The point is getting listeners – and advertisers – to notice.