Why things no longer last? Let’s let entertainment and media overlord Bob Lefstez get things rolling:
1. Channel Overload
Used to be there were 5,000 albums a year and only a few got on the radio and if you didn’t get airplay or press, you were doomed. Now there are a zillion products, all easily promoted online, and unless your friend verifies quality and interest or a track becomes a phenomenon, you don’t care. And suddenly most people don’t care and it’s gone.
There’s a fiction perpetrated by record labels that terrestrial radio reaches everybody.
However the truth is with so many other options for hearing music. Radio is a sliver of the marketplace. To make it everywhere you need not only radio, but video and… Actually, that which is ubiquitous lives online, not on terrestrial radio. Terrestrial radio is a ghetto. You can cross over from terrestrial radio to the internet. You can rise simultaneously from both, but to be gigantic – known by everybody – you need to make it on both terrestrial radio and the internet. Whereas you can spike quite nicely online and function well without terrestrial radio. Terrestrial radio is the dollop of cream atop the sundae. Online is on demand, terrestrial radio is not. And that’s why it’s doomed amongst youngsters, who don’t want to wait, who believe everything should be instant.
The only thing no longer instant is sex. You can hear anything online when you want, research anything online when you want, connect with all your friends instantly via a plethora of communication techniques, but sex is still something you yearn for. Although the internet has made porn ubiquitous, one can argue we live in a masturbatory fantasy culture.
Where to begin? I think Bob’s onto something in terms of predicting the future of radio. And I think he has a point about how the Internet can go it alone. However, according to ratings king Nielsen, radio reaches 92 percent of people six and older every week.
Look at the stupid East Hills Mall in St. Joseph video advertisement that went viral on YouTube with over 1.7 million views. So it’s true, anobody can play.
Even Johnny Dare can’t move the needle like that – not locally, let alone nationally – so while radio still reaches lots of folks, it ain’t what it used to be and the chances of it getting much better appear to be slim to none.
As for Lefstez take on sex, he’s hardly breaking any ground here other than to note how prevalent free online porn has become. Which has gotta make it tuff on the folks who make and sell those adult DVDs, pay-per-views and the like. Why buy the cow if you can get the cream for free?
I remember going into the FYI section of the Star one Sunday afternoon a year or so before I left at the end of 2008. Damn few people inhabit the newsrooms at 18th and Grand on weekends – even then before all the layoffs – and walking over to the cubby of another Star reporter and columnist. And was I – and obviously he - ever surprised. Because there on his computer screen the world’s biggest blow job was going down. Naturally, he killed it and I acted like I hadn’t seen it and rambled on about whatever. But even then online porn was fairly rampant. Which believe it or not, I didn’t know.
It wasn’t until the last comic at Stanford’s at The Legends advised the audience to check out Afghanistan porn (and I took him up) that I discovered how ubiquitous computer spank video had become. Continue reading