Radio lecture for Media and Communication Industries - QUT

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Guest lecture for Media and Communication Industries QUT 27 August 2008

Radio lecture for Media and Communication Industries - QUT

  1. 1. Radio Media and Communication Industries Semester 2, 2008 Professor Terry Flew Guest Lecture
  2. 2. The Australian Radio Industry <ul><li>257 commercial AM/FM broadcasting stations </li></ul><ul><li>ABC: 58 metropolitan and regional radio stations + 4 national radio networks (Radio National, Classic FM, NewsRadio, Triple J) </li></ul><ul><li>Two SBS stations </li></ul><ul><li>350+ community radio stations </li></ul><ul><li>3500+ high power and low power narrowcasting radio services </li></ul>
  3. 3. Radio: When Do You Listen? <ul><li>getting ready for work/uni? </li></ul><ul><li>going to work/uni? </li></ul><ul><li>at work/uni? </li></ul><ul><li>on your way home? </li></ul><ul><li>while studying? </li></ul><ul><li>while at home doing nothing? </li></ul><ul><li>when partying? </li></ul>
  4. 4. % of people using the media through the day (weekdays)
  5. 5. “Accidental History” of Radio <ul><li>origins of radio in telegraphy (Raymond Williams) </li></ul><ul><li>radio initially dominated by experimenters: “sealed set” radio in Australia </li></ul><ul><li>radio in 1920s becomes broadcast medium and mass consumer durable </li></ul><ul><li>radio as listening or communicating? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Radio in the 1930s <ul><li>1924 legislation: ‘A’ and ‘B’ class stations massive growth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1924 1 200 licences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1932 370 000 licences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1939 1 130 000 licences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>‘ A’ class stations becomes ABC in 1932: financed by licence fees </li></ul><ul><li>‘ B’ class stations become commercial stations in 1930s </li></ul><ul><li>ABC listeners as “highbrow”//commercial listeners as “lowbrow”? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Commercial Radio in the 1930s and 1940s <ul><li>important role of American advertising agencies (eg. J. Walter Thompson) </li></ul><ul><li>sponsorship and brand identification ( Wrigley’s Dad and Dave began in 1937) </li></ul><ul><li>emergence of ratings (McNair begins 1937) </li></ul><ul><li>push to national networks </li></ul>
  8. 8. Impact of Television - 1950s and 1960s <ul><li>TV launched in Sydney and Melbourne in 1956 - radio audiences initially decline </li></ul><ul><li>Radio reinvented as a niche portable music and information medium </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Top 40’ stations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Talk-back </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Radio stations develop particular brands/personalities </li></ul>
  9. 9. Radio after TV: Why Radio Survives <ul><li>low costs of technology and staff </li></ul><ul><li>immediacy and instant access </li></ul><ul><li>programs can target market segments </li></ul><ul><li>can treat issues in more depth </li></ul><ul><li>can be used in cars, when travelling etc. </li></ul><ul><li>diverse range of station types </li></ul><ul><li>can have strong local perspective </li></ul><ul><li>cheap for consumers to buy (38m radio receivers in Australia, or two for every one person) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Use of different media by age
  11. 11. Changes in 1970s and 1980s <ul><li>increased Australian music quota: 25% 1976 </li></ul><ul><li>public broadcasting, 2JJ and ethnic radio stations commence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>25 community stations by 1980 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>65 community stations by 1985 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>FM radio commences 1980 </li></ul>
  12. 12. Commercial FM Radio <ul><li>commences in 1980 </li></ul><ul><li>very successful and profitable </li></ul><ul><li>sophisticated audience research </li></ul><ul><li>male/female split in audiences </li></ul><ul><li>keeping a young audience: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>event/stunt radio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“shock jocks” </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. Ratings shares 2008
  14. 15. Share by Age Group 2008
  15. 16. Talkback radio
  16. 17. The ‘Voice’ of Talkback <ul><li>male </li></ul><ul><li>authoritative </li></ul><ul><li>opinionated </li></ul><ul><li>certain </li></ul><ul><li>familiar </li></ul><ul><li>intimate </li></ul><ul><li>populist </li></ul>
  17. 18. The Method of Talkback <ul><li>Rewarding those who agree </li></ul><ul><li>Lampooning critics </li></ul><ul><li>Managed participation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Story selection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Call selection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ordering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interruptions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ the dump’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>After-call commentary </li></ul></ul>
  18. 19. ‘ Cash-for-Comment’ <ul><li>John Laws (2UE) deal with Australian Bankers Association ($1.2m for ‘The Whole Truth’) revealed on ABC Media Watch 12 July 99 </li></ul><ul><li>Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) announced intention to investigate Laws and other talkback announcers (eg. Alan Jones 2UE) 15 July 99 </li></ul>
  19. 20. Talkback Radio and ‘Media Influence’ Debates <ul><li>Tendency to treat radio as ‘less influential’ than newspapers and television </li></ul><ul><li>Characteristics of medium: immediacy, scope for interaction, diverse range of issues, strong listener loyalty </li></ul><ul><li>Characteristics of talkback hosts: loyal audiences, persuasive techniques, concentrated appeal to particular demographics </li></ul>
  20. 21. Triple J <ul><li>Commenced in 1975 as Double Jay in Sydney </li></ul><ul><li>Went national in 1990 - gradual rollout across Australia </li></ul><ul><li>Proved very popular in Brisbane, Perth and regional areas (10% Brisbane audience share in mid-1990s) </li></ul><ul><li>Unearthed and festival circuit important to developing national reach </li></ul>
  21. 22. Community Broadcasting <ul><li>First developed in mid-1970s </li></ul><ul><li>Has continued to grow over 1980s and 1990s </li></ul><ul><li>Intended to promote ‘access’ and ‘participation’ </li></ul><ul><li>Governed by ‘community’ representatives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Geographical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interest-based </li></ul></ul>
  22. 23. Growth in Australian community broadcasters
  23. 24. Brisbane community broadcasters <ul><li>4RPH – radio for print handicapped </li></ul><ul><li>4FRB – Christian (96.5) </li></ul><ul><li>4EB – ethnic broadcasting </li></ul><ul><li>4AAA – Indigenous media </li></ul><ul><li>4ZZZ – alternative/politically radical </li></ul><ul><li>4MBS – fine music </li></ul>
  24. 25. Internet Broadcasting <ul><li>Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) </li></ul><ul><li>Digitisation of radio </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Production, storage, reproduction, editing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online distribution of radio content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of Internet and wireless devices to receive radio </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why Internet radio? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Specialised services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Global reach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Availability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multi-platform capabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>U.S.: Growth of satellite radio </li></ul>
  25. 26. Podcasting <ul><li>Generic term (derived from Apple iPod) for downloading of audio files onto PCs or personal music players </li></ul><ul><li>Popularised over 2004, as an extension of first-person blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Radio stations have picked up on the potential of podcasting e.g. BBC, ABC (Radio National, Triple J) </li></ul><ul><li>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcasting </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/listen/podcast.htm </li></ul>
  26. 27. Conclusion <ul><li>‘ Death of radio’ gets predicted a lot </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Unbundling’ of radio is happening </li></ul><ul><li>Podcasting gives new life to formats that haven’t rated highly e.g. documentary </li></ul><ul><li>Australia has been a world leader in community radio </li></ul>

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