The statement “I don’t listen to radio anymore” was overheard while having a snack at the local mall food court. Two teenage boys were talking about the sound systems in their cars and my ears perked up when I heard one say this. I don’t normally listen in on other peoples conversations but his tone of voice made me curious to know more. He said the word radio like it was so ‘uncool’. As they tried to outdo each other with references to the high priced, high powered hi-fi hardware in their cars, it finally came out that iPods were the source of their song lists and libraries. Not so surprising given their age – seventeen or maybe eighteen. After all, these two young men are true digital natives. As they continued on about the size of their sub-woofers, I finished my snack and went about my business.
As I wandered about the mall, I thought about these two young men and it occurred to me that if they didn’t listen to radio – what forms of advertising influenced their purchasing decisions? They seemed to know a lot about cars and car stereos and what music was hot at the time, but where did they get their information from? The Internet of course! Not just any old Internet, but the new web where people share ideas through discussion and reviews and on-line spec sheets and direct contact with the companies they purchase products and services from. They are members in a community which talk to and with each other. Are you part of that community?
BTW: I still listen to radio – mostly CBC but I find that the busier I get, the less time is available to just sit and listen. Thanks to the CBC’s publishing of podcasts, I now get to hear the shows I would other wise be missing out on. I wish the local radio stations would podcast some of their specialty shows.