Testing…1, 2, 3…do you want to hear an advertisement?

Let’s do an experiment, shall we? Turn on your radio, Clearwater citizen. Any radio nearby you. Now tune into a standard Top 40 music station.

Now tell me, how long can you listen to that station before you want to shut it off, or bang your head into a wall? How long can you actually enjoy it, even when driving along the causeway, or aside the beach?

Maybe like an hour, right? That’s about how long it will take for the songs to repeat themselves, or for the advertisement-to-music ratio to drive you up the wall. Ever had that experience where you just wanted to listen to a song, any song, it didn’t matter what it was, so you flipped from station to station in a mad dash? And there were only ads? Or the news?

Yeah, is it any wonder the podcasts are upon us? That cars now come rigged to play your phone?

Cable is dying to Netflix, and radio might soon be dying to the same sort of product. People want what they want, when they want it, and will not wait, and will not deal with too many interruptions.

Is this a healthy mindset? Maybe not? Is it the present and future of products? Definitely.

The crowd is speaking: I hear less advertisements, more art!

Let’s compare the two, shall we? Let’s look at the difference in kind when it comes to radio, versus the humble podcast.

Radio has a long history, but plays few new songs; has a lot of ads, and does not have much in the way of creative experimentation. It’s free, and readily available, and always on for the consumer—but that same consumer has no control over it beyond what station they listen to. They are at the whim of the owners.

Now, to podcasts.

Podcasts are also free, have usually one to two advertisements, and are allowed to be any kind of creative endeavor they want. From open discussions to answering questions, to telling stories. Nothing is off the table. Not much music, but you have ITunes for that. They are also more personal since a lot of podcasts only have one host.

And then the all-important bonus of the podcast: you can fast-forward, and you get a nigh endless option of choice. I don’t care what you like, podcasts have something for you.

And if you think news radio has anything on podcasts, in terms of presenting the world as it is, and discussing the topics at hand, then you haven’t listened to “This American Life”, “Us and Them”, or “Stuff You Should Know”.

Despite my title, it’s not really a war. Because podcasts secretly won a long time ago. And the world is catching up to the win.

If you liked this article, you can read more of Brandon Scott’s work on The Hive, or at his website: www.coolerbs.com

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