Radio A.I. is here, and the genie is out of the bottle. Those in panic mode should check out all the new time-saving tools in the Radio A.I. box before leaping to negative conclusions.
Do you remember the first production software where you could edit commercials, music and programming on screen? What a time saver. It never interfered with the creative process.
Radio A.I. is only one of many new innovations coming that will make radio better and more relevant.
For many years, weekends have been dominated by voice tracks. By allowing this to happen, radio has allowed prime-time listening on weekends to be void of updates news, and social and text interactions which are vital to keeping on top of your community. Embrace the ‘evolution’ of new tools not the revolution of change which is happening every minute of every day.
A radio station changes format to another duplicative one and expects movement. Radio programming is enamoured with tweaks of tired models. In the hyper-competitive real world… tweaks rarely work. It's really false hope. Radio needs a renaissance, which is a period of creative change to evolve and survive.
Changes/updates/evolutions work like this:
ONE -NO ONE NOTICES…NOT EVEN MANAGEMENT
TWO - TOP MANAGERS & THOSE IN SENIOR MEETINGS NOTICE
THREE -MOST INTERNAL EMPLOYEES NOTICE, THOUGH NO ONE OUTSIDE OF THE BUILDING
FOUR-THE INDUSTRY STARTS TO NOTICE
FIVE - THE TIPPING POINT: THE GENERAL PUBLIC NOTICES
SIX - YOU HAVE CREATED SOMETHING DIFFERENT AND COMPELLING ENOUGH TO CHANGE THE PARADIGM
If you’re successful and stable, good! If you’re in a denial-free zone and are not dominant you’re your programming probably requires new angles in sync with today rather than tweaking a plan rooted in 1983. Shoot for 9 or 10 on the above scale.
America, Australia, Canada and New Zealand are ready, and the rewards are great. There’s a blur between tried and true and increasing irrelevancy. This is not an era to be nostalgic about past success and tweaking that instead of getting in the battle for attention in 2023 that looks FORWARD. It takes a certain mindset.
Imagine the incredible progress we could achieve in our field if we adopted the same approach as those who have revolutionized technology. Companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google have shown us the power of thinking outside the box. Just like musicians who continuously create new sounds, we need to reinvent programming with fresh ideas, writing styles, and attitudes. We should strive to make the old ways look and feel outdated, just like revolutionary filmmakers who challenge the status quo. Here are five key components to achieve this on the programming side:
1. Let go of the past and competition, except when it helps us evolve. Dwelling on these aspects clutters our minds. The creators of the iPod probably didn't spend their time reminiscing about hi-fi systems. Knowledge and experience are valuable, but they should only serve as a foundation for new thinking, not a rigid playbook.
2. Hire individuals who have the ability and instincts to think radically. Finding such people may be a challenge, but it's essential. Smart individuals with forward-focused imaginations are rare, especially in media programming.
3. Teach and empower others. Without guidance, we risk either chaos or a lack of direction. We need to liberate ourselves from assumed correctness and actively teach new ways of thinking.
4. Lead by example. Instead of repeating tired clichés like "content is king" or "embrace technology," let's demonstrate commitment to reimagining programming. Many media companies are stuck on autopilot, simply delivering unnoticeable versions of the same content. We must celebrate and encourage new thinking from day one and avoid the cliches of innovation that close in so many companies.
The ultimate goal is for our news and music programming organizations to reach the level of thinking achieved by visionaries like Walt Disney, Stanley Kubrick, and Thomas Edison, specifically in the realm of programming. It may seem ambitious and unrealistic, but it's a starting point. Just as technology thrives on radical innovation, imagine the possibilities when programming reaches the same level of innovation. An evolution revolution is needed right now.