Radio is Killing Music
Tags: 2, XM
- February 5, 1996 - New York City loses country music when WYNY changes formats (it was resurrected as Y-107 in the surrounding areas, only to be killed off again on May 7, 2002).
- May 11, 2005 - San Francisco loses country music when KZBR changes formats.
- June 3, 2005 - New York's WCBS-FM, an oldies-based station for over three decades, abruptly switches to the Jack FM format. No more oldies on New York's FM dial.
- On the same day - WJMK in Chicago also switches to Jack FM, leaving no oldies for Chicago either.
- August 17, 2006 - Los Angeles' KZLA switches formats to Adult Contemporary, leaving L.A. with no country music stations.
- December, 2006 - Washington D.C.'s 60-year-old classical music station, WGMS, is set to be acquired and turned into a Redskins based sports-talk format station - marking the end of classical music in the Washington D.C. area.
It's an ongoing theme that we're seeing over and over again. Regular radio continues to kill off music genres one at a time, leaving those areas devoid of any way of discovering new music. Commercial classical music stations have dropped from 40 stations in 1998, to only 27 - nationwide - a number that goes from surprising, to really surprising.
WGMS even was to start multicasting in HD Radio (terrestrial radio's supposed technological savior), adding two more classical music stations to the area. Sorry, not anymore.
"But we have iPods."
Sure, iPods are great. They're the perfect way to carry your entire music collection with you. Simple, easy, convenient. But Apple only sells around 20 iTunes per iPod. Twenty. This means that the music on most people's iPods is their own (old) collection (or it's unpaid "borrowed" music that we can't prove). And what's the most popular way that people discover new music? It's through radio.
XM Satellite Radio has been quick to respond.
When country music left L.A., XM stepped in as the sponsor to L.A.'s Country Bash. Now they're aggressively running an ad in the Washington Post, advertising XM's three classical music channels. (Check out the ad after the jump.) XM specifically highlights the fact that D.C.'s acclaimed hosts Martin Goldsmith, Robert Aubry Davis and Paul Bachmann (all formally from WETA) are part of these channels.
Terrestrial radio will continue to complain to the FCC, demanding that satellite radio be regulated by the same rules. The RIAA will gladly file suit against XM, because they need to "fairly compensate labels, artists, songwriters and publishers." SoundExchange will ridiculously demand a massive increase in royalities from XM and Sirius in order to broadcast the music that their terrestrial counterparts continue to cast aside. These are companies who represent the music industry as a whole.
Does anyone see something drastically wrong with this picture?
In the very near future, and even currently, the only way to discover and hear certain types of music will be on the Internet, and on Satellite Radio. Fact: the satellite radio industry is the single largest contributor of sound recording performance royalties to artists and record labels. So while terrestrial radio is killing music, satellite radio is in essence, keeping it alive.
View XM's ad in The Washington Post after the jump...