Reader’s Top of the Charts: Radio News Hits of 2008



Today is the first of a brief series of posts that I’ll be doing that look back at 2008’s radio-oriented news in an effort to give us context for our starting point as we begin the adventure that will be 2009.

2008 was quite a year. Historic elections, advances in social media, economic news of great import, the rise of mobile as a serious platform, and many, many more events have made this a year that will have far reaching implications for everyone. Even just focusing on radio alone there were revolutionary leaps and bounds being taken throughout the prior twelve months that will shape our industry. I thought that a brief retrospective might be in order as we forge ahead into the new year.

Looking back on the news stories I have rounded up over 2008, it becomes obvious that there are two areas in particular that have been advancing at an astounding pace: technology and the global market. Our audience here on the Radio2020 Blog is also aware of these trends, as is shown by my recent glance at our logs. These are the stories that you, our readers, chose as evinced by the traffic they have received.

Let us begin with our technology posts that garnered the most attention.

The blog kicked off by looking at a great piece  by Jonathon Blum for Fortune Small Business (“Fortune Small Business Says Radio is HOT“).  The advent of new radios and other playback devices including the budding mobile market caused Blum to proclaim radio as “hot” in 2008.

The next item to have garnered consistent attention was a post about a new system for measuring audience numbers.  “The ‘Portable People Meter’ Promises Greater Accuracy in Radio Ratings” began the chronicle of the the PPM, Arbitron’s wireless device for measuring the audio signals in a person’s environment. As the year progressed, this piece of tech was consistently in the news (both good and bad) as was Nielsen’s plunge into American radio metrics at the end of the year. Audience measurement has been of increasing newsworthiness ever since due to both the rise of new media and the cratering economy.

Blackberry smart phones have been in the news a lot this year. From the attention to President-Elect Obama’s need to set his aside when inaugurated to the debut of their new Curve, Blackberries have our attention. Evidently, they have yours as well.  The  “Radio Companion” application which tracks what’s currently playing on over 2700 radio stations so you can easily see the name of a song and the artist along with integrated one-click shopping was also one of the top posts (“What Song is That? Ask Your Blackberry!“) as decided by readers.

Before we move on to the international news, there is one more subject that garnered substantial attention here: Target Spot, a new service that allows small advertisers create ads, purchase space, and manage radio campaigns through the Internet. Yet another innovative evolution into the land of cyberspace, this has become of increasing importance as the recession has begun to be felt.  (“Radio Evolution: Target Spot“)

Then there is the other great topic of the year: the global market. Numerous signs of positive growth and boundless potential exist when you take in the big picture. In India cell phones without FM receivers do not sell well at all. In Africa, radio is used to teach farming techniques to the illiterate. Here are the reader favorites dealing with the international radio scene.

In Europe, sixteen radio stations in thirteen countries united under the banner of Euranet.  With a promise of social media/ Web 2.0 tools that would allow the stations to program and/or upload their own shows this was a great step forward in the parallel evolution of radio and the web. (“Euranet Set To Launch in March“)

Then, bringing the international flavor back home to the US, Univision Radio’s AM band delivery Spanish-language programming into the United States through its Radio Cadena network grabbed the attention of readers. Hardly shocking considering the meteoric rise of the Hispanic demographic in this country. (“Radio Cadena Es Buena!“)

Surprisingly — to me, anyway — was the fact that one of the most popular stories on the blog was a look at the history of Haitian radio in South Florida. Small in scale but big on inspiration, this thirty year old format seems to have resonated with our readers.  (“30 Years of Haitian Radio“)

And lastly, while it does not concern commercial radio, the story of an FM radio signal hijacked and used for protest during the controversial Beijing Olympics captured the imagination of many readers as it did my own. A vibrant illustration of radio as a force for free speech and change, this story out of China, demonstrates the importance of radio. (“Pirate Radio at the Beijing Olympics“)

As lists are usually deemed appropos at this time of year, I will be sharing a few more over the next few weeks. Today we looked at the stories that our readers found the most popular. In a few days I will share my personal favorites as well.

What did you enjoy the most out of our 2008 content? Drop us a comment and let us know!

Photo courtesy of h. koppeldelaney, used under its Creative Commons license


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One Response to “Reader’s Top of the Charts: Radio News Hits of 2008”

  1. Jeffory Simmons Says:

    nice work. happy 2009!

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