The Grammy Truth Hurts Radio

The radio industry is up in arms about what it considers a snub that happened on the recent Grammy broadcast on CBS.

In case you missed it, here's what was said (courtesy of RAIN) ...

In CBS’ broadcast of the Grammy Nominations, a video montage introduced the award “Best New Artist.” The voice-over to that montage said, “When the first Grammys were given out, artists were discovered on the radio. Today, it’s a digital world and we’re all players in it…Websites connect young artists and fans in a way never before imagined, and performers who once reached thousands of music fans now touch millions on the Internet, giving an entirely new meaning to the term ‘Best New Artist.’”

Former RAB President and now Regent CEO Bill Stakelin says it's a slight to the radio industry and radio deserves an apology.

Cox Radio President Bob Neil weighs in with...

“It’s ironic that they would praise the Internet, since it has destroyed their economic model. What happens is people discover the music through Radio and then find a way to get it for free on the Net. I’d love to see what would happen to new music sales if radio refused to play anything newer than songs from 2000 for thirty days.”

Wrong, my friend.

Radio doesn't make the hits anymore. You're right about one thing, radio refused to play the hits a long, long time ago -- and that didn't help the record industry or radio. In fact, it created a nice environment for the Internet to thrive as the current mecca of music discovery.

The next generation discovers the music they want to hear through social networking, filesharing and other mobile and Internet-based ways.

Radio has less to do with what's a hit today than it did even five years ago.

Now, the peer group is mighty. The dj is not even a factor. Maybe that's why so many radio stations don't even have djs. Or is it the fact that so many stations don't have knowledgeable djs that drove the music loving public away.

Bob Neil means well, but he's got it all wrong. Just study the habits of young people. They don't listen to the radio to find out what's a hit and then go to the Internet to steal it. Radio doesn't even play new music -- or very little.

What's scary is that this man is running a radio group and he's got his head -- well, let's just say he's got his head in the clouds. It's over. Pure and simple.

Radio no longer makes the hits.

And if Neil and Stakelin would like to have it both ways, then why is the record industry dying in lock step with radio?

The next generation -- that's why.

The target listener broadcast companies refuse to acknowledge, rarely understand and never invest in.

Nothing disrespectful was said in that Grammy piece the other night. Just the truth.

What is disrespectful is that two old radio hands -- apparently out of sight and out of touch -- don't know how music gets discovered today.

That's the real insult to radio -- a business that is dying because of the ignorance of its leaders on basic issues like music, the next generation and the Internet.

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