New media does not threaten Radio Broadcasting I have been involved in radio broadcasting since I was 17, and

I can’t believe, that for many years, it has survived despite the onslaught of new, and even sophisticated media. These made me question the common thought years back, prophesizing that the days of radio broadcasting is almost over. When TV started to dominate the homes of many Filipinos, radio ads dipped significantly. Many stations opted to sell air time to almost anybody who would like to become instant broadcasters, just to survive. The block timer’s era had come, taking over the airwaves of most stations especially in the provinces. Stations were quickly transformed into merchants’ paradise - selling herbal medicines, tips for last-two digits, and selling their services to politicians. There are few, however, whose networks decided to fight it out for a few percentile points, hopeful to get a share of whatever is left from the TV advertisers. Many believed that these were the signs of the worst to come. There are advertisers who thought that the advent of internet would pose a much serious challenge even to the traditional media like TV - as they started to count-out radio as a threat for many years, specially the AM stations. The Internet, mobile phones and other new media such as MP4s and I-Pods changed the lifestyles of how people watch TV and listen to radio (FM stations). But, did it really demolish radio broadcasting (broadcasting journalism and “deejaying”) to oblivion? Is there still life in radio here in the Philippines? The thought that radio broadcasting existence is nearing its end, is an absolute fallacy! The Neilsen Media Research in their latest study showed that “98.5% of the Philippine population still listens to radio every week.” This is the highest in the Asian region, which is an improvement from 94.8% in 2006. The Neilsen Radio Measurement Update 2008 revealed that China, which is the third largest economy in the world, is far behind at 51.6% Though there is a general decline in the time spent on listening to the radio, radio broadcasting however is on the verge of rejuvenation. The survey showed that most listeners tuned in to an average of just three stations per week, which according to Media Research Executive Director Jay G. Bautista, reflected market maturity. Meaning, there is certain death to radio stations who are unwilling to adjust to the new trend, but a huge opportunity for those who have the guts to innovate and compete. The industry is changing, and adjusting to the changes, is a must. Depending on the target market, businesses can still rely on radio as their medium. Radio sensitive to demographics. Filipino listeners aged 10 and above were said to favor FM radio stations, while 40 and above were more inclined to listen to AM stations. Recent observations, however, showed that the present economic condition, the need for constant update on the weather, the political events, price increases, are fuelling the

listeners who are outside of the traditional brackets, to tune in to news and commentary offered by AM stations. It is a mobile medium. It reaches certain groups who are out most of the time, such as students, people are commuting, and people live further where they study or work. While one can easily buy cheap MP4s (made in china), this does not affect incidence of radio listening in the country. It is in fact boosting radio listening, as music gadget owners want to know which new song is out on the market, so they can download it. Another thing, TV advertising based on the experts’ views, had reached a saturation point. Too much commercials, irritate the viewers, thus, the effectiveness of the message is affected. This is an opportunity for the radio. This is not a lease of life. They are here to stay. For comments, e-mail to roldanalex@yahoo.com