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2018 Predictions for Radio
  • ratnobratnob December 2017

    As the BBC decides to invest more in local BBC programming, it's interesting to read Gary Berkowitz's predictions for 2018. It may be that some of the features of great radio, rooted in communities, offering more than Spotify/iTunes can, will return. It's not a nostalgic plea for radio as it was, but a hint of radio as it might be. Worth a read.
    https://garyberk.com/newsletter
  • IainJohnstonIainJohnston December 2017
    Lots of discussion as usual on this in other places
    https://forums.digitalspy.com/discussion/2255213/radio-predictions-2018
    and many more threads.
    And the NewYorkRadioBoard of course http://www.musicradio77.com/wwwboard/
    ... probably the Philly, LA, Chicago, etc ones too no doubt.

    Sorry to say it, but even though Gary is right about the possible financial collapse/split up of the at least 2
    of the struggling (and Chapter 11 "bankrupt") giant USA radio conglomerates due to over-borrowing to buy up
    huge numbers of "local" USA stations at over-rated prices before USA radio started falling inwards due to social
    media type listening platforms for music etc), I sincerely think he's too late with what he says, as much I would
    truly like him to be right about the "reprogramming" of the whole USA approach to commercial radio there.

    As for the UK, STILL:"ape-ing" the USA several years behind, especially with UK radio deregulation coming whereby
    the 3 bigger groups (all foreign-owned no matter what the "UK" company registration names may suggest)
    are already looking to buy-up remaining small groups literally to "gain" filler relay TX for their quasi-national
    networks once dereg is passed (x-ref Lakeland Radio etc already). And of course the "tax efficiency" models
    currently being used that "prevent" UK radio companies from actually making a profit for Corporation Tax
    purposes will no doubt become even more complex.

    The "big 3" will soon become 2 once dereg allows the current bout of "warehouseing" to end, and most of the
    remaining smaller operators (e.g. Lincs group) will sooner or later take a handsome cheque from one of the
    tax-haven "associate companies" of the "big 3" and become more studio-free relays of one of what will become a
    handful of you-know-what-their-names-are fully networked from London with even more now "smart technology"
    links recorded-5-minutes-before-they-go-out to make "local" listeners think its still their local station.

    Unlike the USA, no-one here can "compete in a free market" for radio licences; whoever is already "there"
    is artificially defaulted should a licence "expire", and with de-reg any existing owner can be easily bought-out
    now without the strict rules that once used to exist.

    I won't mention "community radio" - 25 watt TXs and amateur volunteer "staff" and stricter rules & regs than vast
    commercial networks have applied to them and so on is why more are giving up than new licences being "won".

    Cheery, innit !!!!!!!!!!

    This is more like looking at them all arguing on D*g*it*l-S*y! But I think going to be reality before long. Ah well...

    At least here in Sub-Tropical Scotland, there's still a few damn-good stations, BBC and otherwise, that I hope
    will continue to buck the trends of "Down South" and keep "playing the local card" in their various forms :^)
  • ratnobratnob December 2017
    Ah, thanks, Iain.
    I'll pack my optimism away for another year!
  • mjb1124mjb1124 December 2017
    I saw these predictions before. I'd love it if they came true, but unfortunately it sounds like wishful thinking to me.
  • PKPK December 2017
    When you look at the state of radio nowadays, maybe the very forward thinking lyrics in Spirit Of Radio by Rush released in December 1979 were all too true!
  • IainJohnstonIainJohnston December 2017
    "Ah, thanks, Iain.
    I'll pack my optimism away for another year!"

    Awffy sorry 'n that Geoff! I too would dearly like to be optimistic about it all :^)

    But as someone who, since 1975, has at various times had a quite small but actually-with-real-money
    "fantasy radio station shareholder" interest in what goes on, and has seen what goes on behind the
    "At XYZ-FM we're so excited that Knucklebrain & Bimbo are joining the breakfast show" guff while 10 other
    presenters are dumped for this computerised networking of the single central programme while their local
    studios & premises permenantly closed down, I sadly have seen what has gone on and continue to watch
    what is going on now.

    Len grumbles rightly about the "suits" - but its the money men behind the suits that are in control of it all now.

    UK ("Independent") radio is no longer there to provide "Entertainment for listeners while operating on a commercial
    footing" as intended at first - its now increasingly becoming a tax avoidance mechanism for overseas interests
    and the "listeners" are just numbers to "deliver" to London ad agencies - the "customers" are not the listeners
    but the advertisers, and just like the States they don't want listeners over "a certain age"; and the "stations"
    are losing even their pretend "regional" character, except here in Scotland where a smart-networking dodger
    in Manchester (sorry guys) or London playing out "phone caller requests" where every thing but adverts is clearly
    "not from here at all" is rapidly rumbled.

    I'm sure USA JMers like the guys above still in the radio business there would see whats happening here now
    and say "we told you so; why on Earth are the Brits making the exact same mistakes just several years later?"

    Meanwhile - once upon a time some UK stations would start a new jingle package with the start of a New Year.
    Would be nice if anyone might hear of that happening anywhere at the start of 2018 and mention it!
  • GrahamCollinsGrahamCollins December 2017
    I only listen to the BBC (hate commercials, always have) and as I get older 5Live, R3 & R4 are getting more airtime in the Collins' household. My 18 year old daughter doesn't know or care what radio is or where to find it. Her peer group send playlists to each other on Spotify and consume these on their smartphones, but the concept of hearing a track and then buying it is lost on her. She only streams music, she doesn't need to own it or see it on a shelf.

    For the reasons Iain flags above it's a fairly safe prediction for 2018 that UK commercial radio will continue to slide down market, become more bland, same sounding and ultimately less entertaining.
  • I only listen to the BBC (hate commercials, always have) and as I get older 5Live, R3 & R4 are getting more airtime in the Collins' household. My 18 year old daughter doesn't know or care what radio is or where to find it. Her peer group send playlists to each other on Spotify and consume these on their smartphones, but the concept of hearing a track and then buying it is lost on her. She only streams music, she doesn't need to own it or see it on a shelf.

    For the reasons Iain flags above it's a fairly safe prediction for 2018 that UK commercial radio will continue to slide down market, become more bland, same sounding and ultimately less entertaining.



    I agree - I can only see commercial radio going one way.

    The one glimmer of hope is the comments Lord Hall made about BBC local radio with a hint that each station may be able to go in their own direction...a possible end to the generic jingles.

  • I'm not sure I want the BBC Locals to do their own thing !

    Collecting the jingles at the moment is easy. If you've got a decent full copy of all three Mcasso packages from over the years (like me), then you've effectively got them all.
  • IanFIanF January 4

    I'm not sure I want the BBC Locals to do their own thing !

    Collecting the jingles at the moment is easy. If you've got a decent full copy of all three Mcasso packages from over the years (like me), then you've effectively got them all.



    Totally disagree with you on that I'm afraid! The beauty of this little hobby of ours is variation. Having the same sound on separate stations surely defeats the object of what we do doesn't it?! I know some on here strive to get 'ALL' jingle packages but surely its what goes out on air which is the most important and hearing that work of art on air. I miss that buzz of listening to a station to hear what jingles they've got these days. Radio's Leicester and Derby sounds similar for the time being.... :( Even listening to community radio can be dissapointing if they can only afford voice overs. In saying that, Stafford FM, Moorlands Radio, Cannock Chase Radio, Radio Tamworth and Ashbourne Radio have sung jingles and are quite different from each other so not all is lost ;)
  • petewilsonpetewilson January 4
    I think Graham was Joking!!!
    Either that or he has been body snatched by some evil aliens!! :-)
  • IanFIanF January 4

    I think Graham was Joking!!!
    Either that or he has been body snatched by some evil aliens!! :-)



    I hope so Pete lol.....Joking I mean....These aliens are pesky blighters. JAM did do jingle for them in the mid 80's too ;)
  • Yes tongue was firmly in cheek. I meant that as a collector you could tick the 'BBC Local box' and move on :)

    Having said that I do rather like the Mcasso material - it does make every station, large and small sound part of a quality network - which was the general idea.

    Let's be honest, when imaging was chosen locally, it was a real mess of good, bad and indifference. More local, but to me, less impressive.
  • rakrak January 5
    Perhaps there could be a halfway house solution? Around 2004 there was an IQBeats package for BBC Radio One-Syllable, as used on Leeds, Kent and Stoke.

    With a bit of joined up thinking, there could be some shared packages for stations that were determined by how the stations' names scanned (either sung or a sonic logo - Kent never used the vocal versions of their IQBeats package.)
  • rak said:

    Perhaps there could be a halfway house solution? Around 2004 there was an IQBeats package for BBC Radio One-Syllable, as used on Leeds, Kent and Stoke.

    With a bit of joined up thinking, there could be some shared packages for stations that were determined by how the stations' names scanned (either sung or a sonic logo - Kent never used the vocal versions of their IQBeats package.)



    At least the news beds for the first Mcasso package were based on the station name.