Radio wins ‘when you stay local’

radio mic

Despite the ever-changing state of technology, radio is here to stay.

From Walkmans to iPods and cassettes to MP3s, the way people access their music has drastically changed over the years. Although technological advancements have allowed for more convenience when it comes to music accessibility, it has also changed the music industry as a whole. With record sales plummeting and pirating on the rise, musicians are left scrambling, trying to balance protecting what’s theirs while trying to stay ahead of the digital curve.

Broadcast radio has been around for nearly 100 years, and 99.3 The Fox’s Afternoons & Indie Director, Todd Hancock, believes that it will withstand the test of time. And according to Hancock, the key to this infinite longevity can be chalked up to locality.

“People used to gather around the radio but am I expecting people to gather around to listen to my show?” Hancock asks. “Not a chance! But radio has changed and adapted. And the reason radio will always live is because it’s so immediate and personal to where your listeners are from.” This, of course, is in response to the relatively new introduction of satellite radio.

From a technological standpoint, radio will trump all when it comes to media outlets.

“If shit goes down and there’s an alien invasion or a World War III and they take out all the TVs, radio will live on,” Hancock said. “We will be your system in which the way you find your news and information. Shortwave radio, pirate radio – radio is always going to win when you stay local.”

While Hancock admits that the internet is a crucial tool for his day-to-day work, he also acknowledges the impact it has on the music industry through illegal downloading.

“Twenty years ago, you had to sell a million records to be number one,” says Hancock. “But if you look at the numbers of the Billboard charts in the last 10 years, it’s gone from 350,000 to 400,000 copies sold a week, to being number one if you’ve sold 120,000 to 150,000 copies. So is it killing the industry? Fucking rights it is!”

However, it’s not just the wallets of the fat cats and rock stars that it’s affecting. It’s also affecting our music experience. Don’t like that the same bands get repeatedly played on the radio? You can chalk that up to lack of funds.

“The long and short of it is the industry doesn’t have the money to research and develop bands anymore,” Hancock said. “They’re not willing to take risks on indie bands and that’s why you’re getting huge bands that continue to endure because they’re proven winners.”

Despite the decline in album purchases, Hancock has high hopes for the music to come.

“Music does something to people. It heals people,” Hancock said. “And the love affair of an album is meant to be an experience. You’re supposed to have a journey. And hopefully it’s because the artists are so in love with the idea of an album that it won’t go away.”

Kait Huziak

Meet Kait! She is trapped in a student's body as a third year Journalism student and she perpetually finds herself referring to third person context when it comes to bios. When Kait isn't menacing the streets of Vancouver, hopping from show to show, you can also find her scouring the web for sources of inspiration to facilitate her obsessive compulsive baking needs.

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