Yahoo! News reports that Infinity Broadcasting, the second largest player in the US radio industry, will convert a badly underperforming radio station in San Francisco to an all podcast format.
The radio station in question has been following a ‘talk radio’ format, and doing it badly. Ratings were so low as to not even register on Arbitron’s market ranking. Infinity will reinvent the station next month, and rename it KYOURADIO. Joel Hollander, CEO of Infinity, says the format change is an ‘experiment’ but did not say how long the experiment would run before deciding to keep it.
On Wall Street, Infinity’s parent company Viacom’ shares rose 50 cents on Wednesday, while their competitor Clear Channel fell 18 cents.
What does this mean in the grand scheme of things? Well to begin with, it highlights the traditional media industry’s growing awareness of the momentum of blogging in all its forms. How this will play out is anyone’s guess—blogging and podcasting is such a grass roots, starkly individual preoccupation, it’s difficult to see how corporations will convert the concept to a long term source of revenue. It’s doubtful anyone yet has a sure-fire plan on how to make money from it, and it will be interesting to see how the ‘suits’ handle – or mishandle – the format.
At the very least, it signals that traditional media understands that they cannot afford to ignore technical revolution that has empowered the individual voice, and are willing to try and co-opt concepts when stale formats are no longer working.
For the full story, go to: http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050428/ap_on_hi_te/infinity_podcasting
For KYOURADIO website, go to: http://www.kyouradio.com/