I've long said the only way for music radio to survive is by bringing personality back and differentiating itself from Spotify, Pandora, and other streaming services. We've actually seen some movement on this front, with some stations going back to two-person afternoon shows. Even SiriusXM seems to be adding more DJ's to their Pop2K, Pop Rocks, and other channels. Sadly, Audacy, the second biggest radio company in the country, seems to be doing the opposite. They eliminated a boat-load of CHR, or pop, radio DJ's at the end of last week - this after doing the same previously with country and alternative. Now, a handful of DJ's will be on double-digit stations across the country.
A disclaimer. Middays for much of the country will be done by Julia, who is a friend of mine. I worked with her at Amp Radio here in Detroit and consider her to be one of the most creative people I worked with in my 15 year radio career. So if you're Julia, and they say hey, we want to syndicate you nationally, that's a no-brainer. No ill will toward her.
I guarantee Julia's show will have great content for the stations she's on, maybe even more compelling than the former local DJ's in some cases. But more radio people are out of work, and there's more connections to local communities that are gone. For Audacy, It's a great way to cut costs when you're moving all your resources to digital, but it doesn't bode well for the future of radio.
On to this week's podcasting news.
There's a new social audio app that focuses on short form content, called "Racket." It speaks to a larger trend in media toward shorter stuff. Think about the recent success of TikTok and Instagram. How does this translate to podcasting? Well, maybe shorter episodes are the way to go. You can always go too long on an episode, but can you really be too short? Back to the old radio cliche: Leave 'em wanting more. https://www.theverge.com/2021/7/16/22570683/audio-short-form-podcast-app-racket-beams
Auttomatic, the company that owns Wordpress, has bought Podcast listening app Pocketcasts - makes me wonder if that means easier integrations for podcast listening through websites. https://wordpress.com/blog/2021/07/16/popular-podcast-app-pocket-casts-joins-automattic/
If you still want to use Apple Podcasts as your listening app of choice, do yourself, and podcast creators a solid. Upgrade to the latest version of iOS - there should be some fixes for podcast download issues. James Cridland of PodNews, as always, is on top of it: https://podnews.net/update/podcast-download-bug
One more Jag Show next week, then a break at the beginning of August while I attend Podcast Movement in Nashville - hope to see you there. And finally, if you'll indulge me, two quick plugs.
This week, I was the featured guest on the "Do What You Love" podcast, from Las Vegas morning show host, and recent ESPN play by play man Jeff Kurkjian. Jeff's a friend, and just such a great, solid, positive guy. We talked all things podcasting, and a little bit of radio too.
Also, I'm thrilled for JAG in Detroit's latest partnership - with Tanner Friedman Strategic Communications here in Michigan, and their client CARE HOUSE of Oakland County, a place that helps victims of abuse. The podcast is called, "It Shouldn't Hurt To Be a Child." The trailer is up now, with Episode 1 to land shortly.
As always, if you need a podcast consult, you can always reach out to me at https://jagindetroit.com/
Here are some great episodes to start with. Or, check out episodes by topic.