Music radio? Is anybody listening anymore?

Has the withering of "free" over-the-air music radio proved music is worthless? With Sirius's stock hovering around fifty cents, will commercial-free music satellite radio suffer the same fate?

I read Matt Rosoff's Digital Noise blog all the time, and his recent lamenting radio's irrelevance hit me hard.

I think Matt was mostly referring to AM or FM radio, but what about Internet or satellite radio? Me, I'm still a die hard Sirius subscriber and listen to Left of Center, Sirius Disorder, and Underground Garage channels many hours a day. They turn me onto new music all the time, so I buy an average of two CDs a week.

Steve Guttenberg

Of course, now that the hoopla over the Siriius/XM merger has died down and the stock price hovers around fifty cents, it seems like the stockholders don't have that strong a belief in the future of satellite radio. Or maybe they finally realized there are not enough people willing to pay $12.95 a month for commercial-free radio to make Sirius, er, profitable? Gee, I wonder if Howard Stern is the only one to score big bucks in the satellite radio biz? Did he cash out his Sirius stock long ago?

As for AM/FM terrestrial radio music stations, the audience for non-oldies music is too small to support commercial stations anymore. Matt's observation, "But apart from college radio, nobody's playing cutting-edge rock and roll with potentially broad appeal," rings true to me. Too bad.

Hey, MTV gave up on music long ago, let's face it, when the youth market isn't all that interested in music, music's future looks pretty dim. And it's not the big, bad record labels fault, no, music's appeal is fading. Then again, when you're not paying for music, it proves it's not worth anything. No wonder even "free" music on the radio can't hold its own anymore. It's worth less than zero...

Do you listen to music over AM, FM, Sirius, or Internet radio?

About the author

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Home Theater, Inner Fidelity, Tone Audio, and Stereophile.

 

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