Is there a time in radio’s future where personality driven shows dump music?

Amid the many stories told yesterday as part of Survey 3, Drive was an obvious battle ground with three national shows going head to head.
Hughesy and Kate had a 9.7% share nationally, Kate, Tim and Marty had 10.8% and Hamish and Andy 11.1%.
According to Nova Entertainment’s Paul Jackson, “Drive has three quality shows that kind of negate each other, because it’s going to be a draw every time. We won Adelaide and Perth, Hamish and Andy won Brisbane and Melbourne and Hughesy and Kate Sydney”.
Each has strong personalities and strong chemistry, but given competition from the likes of Spotify and Pandora within the radio landscape, could that mean there will be a time in the future where the music streamers take care of the songs to make way for those personalities?
SCA’s Gemma Fordham’s thoughts are clear, No I don’t think so, I think other parts of the world that haven’t invested in talent have lost listeners who have gone elsewhere to find entertainment and to also find music”.
Howard Stern is the only one that’s been able to do that when his breakfast show removed all its music and it still rated number one”, says ARN’s Duncan Campbell.
“If the content is exceptional you might be able to get away with that. Music plays a part though; I think we tend to underplay the role of music in people’s lives. It’s still very important and still very important as part of a mix on a commercial FM music station,” he says.
“… one of the most telling things that we see from research from consumers, not just Nova listeners is that radio is a companion,” says Paul. “They want to be in the loop and know what’s going on … radio is where I am going to discover the next song I am going to love, the next big hit, the next big thing, so radio is very much used for that.”
 “The thing we have in Australia,” says Gemma “And that’s not just SCA, is the industry as a whole here recognise talent is the key to the success of the radio industry moving forward and what you will generally find is if you have a good lead in with the talent it’s very unlikely the audience moves away to music streaming platforms, you are much more likely to retain them.
We have such healthy growth in the Australian industry with cume, I believe as a whole we have done a great job … I think people strive to have a connection, certainly Aussies do and you can’t get that from Spotify or the other streaming services. Yes, you can hear your favourite song but you can hear your favourite song on the radio and also get some emotional attachment along the way”, she says.  
“Once I have found that song I will go and get it on my Spotify and play it at home. That’s no different to what we used to do with tape cassettes or records or juke boxes. It’s different than what it was but I don’t think it (streaming) effects radio”, says Paul.
“Over the years the song count has diminished certainly, as content has gotten stronger but music is a key component in the mix of a strong breakfast or drive show in terms of the elements it offers”
, says Duncan.
 Do you agree or disagree? Share your comments below.

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