Intriguing Stations of 2014

Sean Ross is Edison Research’s Vice President of Music and Programming. A longtime industry observer, Ross works with Edison’s radio and music industry clients, offering strategic analysis and music knowledge that goes beyond the numbers.

Intriguing Stations of 2014

Postby radiofan » Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:14 am

Intriguing Stations of 2014, Part I: In The Lab (With A Pen And A Pad)

By Sean Ross

Last years, broadcasters took tentative but significant steps toward doing what they must to stay competitive in 2015: addressing the spotload issue on FM music outlets; adding new online radio stations that had the spotload that listeners were coming to expect for “continuous music”; creating new content for the broader world of “audio” that didn’t rely on an antenna and transmitter.

By contrast, broadcasters threw themselves with enthusiasm to the world of low-powered FM translators. Translators allowed broadcasters some low-risk innovation, but even more low-risk spoilers. At least two major groups launched major-market stations that were intended to remain indefinitely commercial-free. In addition, translators played enough of a role in the resurgence of alternative radio and the launch of classic hip-hop to confound any real read on the long-term potential of the formats.

The net effect of so many stations that were built only to flank, and so many tentative solutions to vast challenges, was that 2014 was a year of relatively modest successes. Fortunately, our look back at each year’s “Intriguing Stations” is never about only the biggest ratings stories. It’s about both new and existing stations. Some were a talisman of industry change. Some were just enjoyable audio tourism (we’ll look more at those in part II). Not all were stations per se. A few came from our major groups. The most significant development, one with implications for all broadcasters, came from public radio.

Read the full story here: ... -and-a-pad
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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