We in the radio industry know what radio is. It is companionship, it is emotional. It is a human connection with the presenter and other listeners. It is full of powerful stories, as Valerie Geller is keen to remind us. That powerful story might be a hard-hitting feature on a local NPR station; but it could also be an equally powerful story from the local breakfast team about their day yesterday, inspired by a listener’s tweet.
Pandora is not radio. Pandora is just a soulless, poorly-executed, music jukebox. Pandora wants people to think they’re radio, because people love radio, and advertisers understand radio’s power and connection: but they are not radio. Instead, they are attempting to redefine “radio” as some kind of music jukebox. As Fred’s post showed, they have succeeded.
We, the radio industry, have sat idly by as companies like Pandora, Slacker, Apple and others have christened their inferior product “radio.” They have stolen our brand. It has already caused us immeasurable damage. We are fools for letting that happen.