Monday, February 25, 2008

Threat or Opportunity?

"Did you know 2.0" is a provocative little slide presentation circulating in cyberspace. It proclaims, "We live in exponential times". It provides lots of examples to illustrate the speed of change in our world. Here is a couple that caught my attention:
  • If MySpace was a country it would be the 8th largest in the world.
  • Number of Internet devices in 1984: 1,000, in 1992: 1,000,000, in 2006: 600,000,000.
  • Years to reach a market audience of 50 million:
    Radio 38
    TV 13
    Internet 4

There's good news and bad news here for traditional broadcasters. First, the good news. Traditional broadcasters are no longer limited by their FCC licenses. They can broadcast multimedia information and entertainment content to anyone they want anywhere in the world. Now, the bad news. Anyone else can do the same, with or without a transmitter, tower, or FCC license.

The reality is traditional radio broadcasters no longer have a virtual monopoly on the distribution of audio information and entertainment content. Survival in this new age will depend on their ability to create remarkable information and entertainment content, not distribute it. Future success for traditional radio broadcasters will rest on their ability to find and develop gifted artists and air personalities capable of creating extraordinary multimedia information and entertainment content.

The "exponential times" in which we live are either a giant threat or a huge opportunity for traditional broadcasters with their towers, transmitters, and FCC licenses.

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