Radio is a specialty at Mediathink. Over the course of my career, I've helped over 50 radio stations improve their revenue and their ratings by refining music, air talent, promotion, production and even sales. We work daily with leading stations around the country to improve these product features for them.

But this isn't about me. It's about radio.

Radio faces many challenges that advertisers can benefit from. So, we risk biting the hand that feeds us because we believe smarter advertisers will make radio better for everyone.

Why Music Radio Is Losing Relevancy With Consumers

First, the tough part. Music, radio's primary source of content for the past 30 years, is in the midst of historic change. Radio is playing less new music.

Consolidation and risk management have caused radio to focus on playing more reliable “gold” titles. These titles are easier to research, but they are also easier to download and share. Record companies, victims of their own procrastination, have fewer resources to devote to artist and product development.

If the sad state of affairs turns around, it will be because the record industry properly leveraged the technology that now dogs them, not because radio got any more generous or adventuresome.

MP3 players of various types can now easily hold more songs than most radio stations play. File sharing may be slowed, but it can't be stopped. In a matter of months it will be necessary to acknowledge that the PC has replaced the DJ (or, more accurately, program directors armed with a music scheduling program called Selector) as Music Mediator for the Masses.

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Tom Barnes is CEO of Mediathink (, a consultancy specializing in media and marketing strategy and implementation. Contact him at