I’m a radio guy. I love listening while i’m driving, or even if i’m in my room. I’m a member of MVL Radio and that is something I value highly. Being on the radio gives you a certain appreciation for the big names on the big name stations, and the work that they do. Maybe I’m a nerd for radio, or maybe I just recognize the value that I believe it still holds in our society.
With the rise of music sharing apps such as Spotify, Sound Cloud, Pandora and Apple Music, the tendency for people to plug their phones into the aux and neglect FM radio is more common. Thus, the radio has experienced a decline in viewing. Although there is the convenience and freedom of these popular apps, (and I am a victim myself, being a big Spotify user) I believe that listening to the radio can still offer us some postive things, and that we should not cut the radio out of our lives entirely.
My favorite station is 107.1 The Peak, a Westchester based station. Being an avid radio listener, I have never been exposed to a station like the Peak. The station has insprired me to potentially puruse a career in radio broadcasting, as well as write this blog post. The peak is a freeform station, playing varieties of tasteful music from the past and present, offering a wide range of music to multiple demographics. My favorite DJ is Jimmy Fink, who hosts “The homestretch” which plays 3-6pm on weekdays allowing listeners to induldge in world class rock for their commute home from work. He also hosts “The 10 at 10” which is 10 songs from one year in history at 10am on weekdays. He discusses the social, political, and musical highlights of that particular year and explains how the 10 songs chosen are quintessential of that time period. The Peak truly is a unique listening experience every time and I am impressed by the music selection and the presentation by the radio host’s.
Although some can say, why listen to the radio when I already have my favorite songs on my Spotify playlist? Fair point… Although for a music lover/listener like me, some times I enjoy stepping away from the constraints of a spotify playlist that I listen to over and over again. At times I find pleasure in letting somebody else dicate my listening and allow me to discover new music and step out of my comfort zone. Especially when listening to the Peak, you never know what you will hear. Just the other day, I heard a classic from Neil Young, followed by a new hit from Foster the People. By listening to the radio you have the opportunity to listen to new and different music that you may end up loving, instead of listening to that one same genre you might play all day long.
An overlook at radio as a whole, there are just certain things you can experience when listening to FM radio that spotify can not suffice. The voice, the personality of the host, giving input and analysis of music that you may not be able to dissect yourself. The sense of community built around radio; stations like The Peak love local artists and exposing them to the public eye. This is not always something you can find on popular apps, and you just might miss something you’ll love. You can learn things about the artists you listen you listen to, and the inspirations for their songwriting, which may just make you feel more connected to the music itself. You can find out when that artist you just heard is playing live in the local area, and how the weather will be that afternoon.
For people like msyelf, I do not reguarly watch the news because I am not frequently watching the tv. When I’m driving, the radio can offer me news updates and other important information that I may have not gotten the chance to discover on my own.
When listening to radio, it’s not always just about the music you hear, but about the voice that talks to you in between those songs. Some may tune it out, and call it banter, but if you ever raise the volume just a bit to hear what they have to say, it could change your whole day. That voice you hear over the speaker, for some, including myself, offers a sense of comfort when behind the wheel. It brings a feeling of normality to this crazy world, unlike the quiet, desolate void of a music sharing app that offers no voice, no feeling of companionship.
Music sharing apps, like Spotify, are GREAT, I won’t deny that. However, I still truly believe there is a place for radio in this world, and that it’s time cannot be over yet. The radio can offer the liveliness and personality that just our phones cannot, and I believe it is important to make time to include some FM radio stations in into our listening pattern. Radio may have had a drought in past few years, yet I still have faith that radio can survive into the future, and grow stronger because of the voices who keep it alive.