Independent radio stations rock it

Some local radio stations go through mass-takeover bids and get bought out by large companies. You know, where the songs play on a cycle throughout the day – if you listen all day you might hear the same song up to four times.

There is something to be said for independent radio, that is not part of a buy-out chain. You get unusual, interesting, and cultural vibes. There is a mood-shift between presenters and between shows. It doesn’t feel like so much a factory farm, making oodles of the same thing.

Radio has come a long way since it began in the early 1920s and commercial radio officially launched  in 1973, about 18 years after the BBC faced its first commercial competition in TV. Commercial radio was launched in this year (Independent Local Radio or ILR) and local cities or county-wide stations were licensed by the IBA (Independent Broadcasting Agency), which were much more localised.

Later, ‘national’ commercial radio began in 1992. Three stations in particular, were licensed, and their formats were subject to parliamentary decree – for example, one should offer music other than pop music and one with at least 50% speech content. These stations were Classic FM, the now ‘talkSPORT’ and Virgin Radio. Generally, the trend has been to increase the choice for radio participation and listener-input and to lessen regulation from bodies such as parliament.

Unfortunately, one of the competing influences in the music industry is that song-owners, artists and labels could now pay national and commercial radio stations to cover their songs. This has meant a shift away from audience participation and a monetary-driven situation for listened-to content. In turn, this has also meant a resurgence in localised and innovative radio stations that deliver more focused, less targeted content.




Leave a comment