WTOP #1 and Pandora #1? – radio content and technology

Two trends that continue to attract my attention are the spoken-word radio formats’ move to FM and the competition for online listening between traditional broadcasters and the likes of Pandora, Sirius, etc.  In conversations about my days of selling radio advertising and marketing solutions I point out that online and device listening of (particularly younger) adults is doing to their parents’ FM band just what those boomers did in abandoning their parents’ AM stations for FM.  It sounds better, plays what they want, interacts and travels with them on their favorite device.  Remember FM converters?

Radio Ink recently listed the top-billing stations in America and some industry voices tried to attribute the strong presence of AM stations on that list as an assertion of the AM band’s vitality.  One of my favorite bloggers in this space, Mark Ramsey asserts that it’s the brand, not the band – CONTENT rules despite the delivery platform.  Here’s his take on the AM bandwagon.

Couple Mark’s assertion with another “who’d have thought” incident, this headline in the Los Angeles Times  “Pandora: The No. 1 radio station in Los Angeles?” and I would suggest that a winning formula to watch is CONTENT that keeps up with consumers through technology widely adapted by the masses.


One could argue that the source of the ratings article is The Media Audit, not Arbitron or Neilsen and it’s  from last year.  It could be a sign of things to come despite Pandora’s $8.2MM Q4 loss.  But since it is all about who brings in the most revenue, WTOP‘s $57M is quite a feat to take to the bank.


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