Radio has always been good at adopting trends and riding them out until the next wave of pop-culturism presented an opportunity. But, with the advent of important new hardware and software advances, equipment breakthroughs, and cultural changes since the mid 1990s, Radio finds itself being redefined.
Remember the “Borg” from Star Trek? A race of cyborgs who assimilated all other races it encountered? Radio is becoming a Borg, of sorts. Each time a new “atom of technology” attaches, Radio finds itself evolving into a “new audio molecule”.
Turn on a radio station today and it has a website, it streams, the DJs blog daily, it offers Podcasts – and that’s just the beginning.
It would be easy to stereotype the components of today’s Radio environment as either “old radio” or “new radio” but the fact of the matter is, the smart radio station operators are avoiding being marginalized by such references by maximizing the latest technologies to stay relevant.
That’s what “Convergence ’08” is all about.
The conference is March 10 and 11 in San Jose, California, and is presented by Radio Ink, an industry publication available to 42 countries in addition to the 400,000 people it reaches daily with online feeds and email updates.
Thus does Corey Dietz introduce his About.com interview with Eric Rhodes, the publisher of RadioInk and a veteran of the radio industry since 1969. The majority of the dialogue concerns the relationship between radio and technology, the primary thrust of Convergence 2008. Among other things they cover:
- Radio has not declined at anywhere near the same rate as television and newspapers.
- The need to “reflect” the tastes of the listening audience
- Satellite radio
- The acquisition of Leo Laporte as keynote speaker for Convergence 2008
My personal favorite part was when Rhodes gave his own description of what Convergence is supposed to be:
My conference is designed to help the radio industry, podcasters, and people interested in radio understand the natural ties to digital media. Its designed to help everyone come up to speed on all the opportunities in technology, what consumers want, and where things are going. We’ve brought in the top minds in radio and the top minds in Silicon Valley to give the audience a giant dose of information.
This should be quite an interesting conference! Welcome to the future!
Image is a screencap of the Convergence 2008 webpage