Thursday, 23 May 2013

Radio vs iPod vs Spotify... Who Will Win?


In today's blog we pitch three giants of the digital audio world against each other - We battle radio vs iPod vs Spotify... but who will win?

The evidence for today's blog was gathered during my recent Masters degree at the University of Sunderland.

In the white corner weighing in at 88 grams we have "iPoooood" (and other MP3 players)...

Photo By mferak

What is "iPod's" Upper Hand?

Choice - MP3 players (such as the Apple iPod) you can store 1000's of titles all on one device, which can also be your phone, camera, PDA and much more.

Change - If audiences don't like what they hear they can go else where at the click of a switch.

Connect & Create - Creation of playlists and listen again features means the audience is no longer tied down or limited by rigid radio schedules.

In the green corner weighing nothing it's Spoooootify!

What has this new comer got to offer? 


Great Value & Choice - Limited free access or paid unlimited access to millions of music tracks. The audience don't have to pay per track!

Ease of use - Free computer softwear and  mobile apps that work with technology users already own.

Accessible - Low bandwidth options for those in poor internet broadband speed areas.

Audience 1st - The Spotify audience can hear what they want when they want to hear it (more or less). There is no need for timely downloads

How many of those points could also be said about radio? Quite a few I'd say... so is there still life in radio's fight?

In the Grey corner weighting in around 150 grams (or more if you have a bigger set)... it's Radioooooo! 

  How Could Radio Match That?

In one word... talk! 

Then play iPod and spotify at their own game!

I'll explain: In the early to mid 2000’s Podcast took off.

Radio was no longer a one way conversation guarded by the ‘gate keepers’: those lucky enough to work at or own radio stations.

Radio was truly for everyone who could gain access to relatively inexpensive equipment, had access to the internet and could use free online open source software.

Podcasting & On-demand talk radio

Podcasting has devolved and has helped introduce the concept of on demand content into the public arena.

For example BBC iPlayer, NexFix and 4OD all use the on-demand model which Podcasting pioneered.

Audiences no longer need to fit into a networks or broadcasters schedules.

They no longer have to start listening to programmes at the top of the hour, they can start it, pause it and rewind content when they want and in what order they want.


Plus thanks to wi-fi hot spots, 4G mobile broadband and web streaming services - such as Mixcloud and Blog Talk Radio - audiences can access the content they want, when they want and where they want faster than ever before.


The audience is in control and audio content producers need to factor that into their programming. 

Now I'm not saying all shows should be per-recorded and on-demand. However offering a useful and entertainging Podcast, download or on-demand option to your show should always be at the top of your list. This will allow your content access to new content hungry digital audiences


If you have something to say which is useful, engaging, entertaining and easy to access then audience want to hear it! 

Want to find out more about broadcasting in the digital world?  Check out our tech blogs...


listen to the MYOB Show!






Take care,

Dom O'Neill
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