Motion: THW renew the FM radio world thoroughly
Role: Whip (govt.)
Date: Aug 24th, 2016
Now that Spotify has been awhile with us, we should take a look at how it has changed the way we consume music as opposed to radio broadcasts.
As our MP-representative said, Spotify is the realest radio that there is around minus the hosts and talk-based programming and interaction. Musically, what can be heard is far more stimulating than what can be heard on mainstream radio channels from 88.6 MHz to 105.7 MHz. Why does radio suck? What happened?
A lot of the suckiness of radio can be attributed to the journalists who work there. There isn’t so much difference to print journalists, who publish high-school photos of themselves next to their headliner stories which usually tell of really tricky political realities or why not their experiences in dealing with the medical establishment while tending to their aging and ailing parent(s). Radio journalists may just as well post 16-year-old versions of themselves, tricking their listeners into believing they’re really 16 while they are juggling their 48-year-old lives with children, divorce, mortgage, attempts at exercise and minding that 86-year-old. Also, those journalists’ flaws may be attributed to their youth. Those presenters who are really only 25 may serve you their commune-living and rock-festival experiences every day in a row for those 8 years that they are allowed to work on a ”youth channel”.
At any rate, as our side’s minister pointed out, many of us tune in for music, and I want to focus on that music. I think the biggest problem that radio stations have is the so-called playlist stations or heavy-rotation supply or downright virtual-jukebox stations. What this means is that they play some records over and over again for years, sometimes decades. This isn’t merely bad, as some songs are so good that ”everyone” needs to hear them at least once in a lifetime. The situation turns however from good to worse when those same songs are played too many times, or, ”ad nauseam”. A lot of the educationally good songs tolerate from 1 to 10 plays in the lifetime of a human being. Thereafter, they turn ”sour”, tasting more like milk that has already gone bad. Yet, a lot of the stations play expressly this fare over and over again, hoping that there are still legions of people out there who have not heard this and that song in their lifetime. Also, they may erroneously claim that ”if we did not do this, our listeners would disappear, never to tune in again…”
I claim that radio stations should conversely play mostly music that has not exhausted itself of meaning, significance and relevance. A good portion of the popular music that is available is ”uncharted”, meaning two things.
- It did not chart at the time of its release, meaning that it may have been a ”filler” or an ”album track” on a record of which only the first or title track has even been played in public.
- People wouldn’t recognise the song or be able to place it on the timeline of the artist’s repertoire, even though they could otherwise pinpoint who/what the artist in question was/were.
We have to remember that a lot of the early 80’s to the late 90’s stuff that is being played right now on most of the world’s radio stations was once ”new music”. In other words, if stations then had stuck to their guns and the same principles as stations now do, they would have blocked that music in favour of music that was recorded from the early 60’s to the late 70’s. And we might not know at all songs such as ”Crazy Train”, ”I Won’t Back Down”, ”Freedom ’90”, ”Losing My Religion”, ”Nothing Else Matters”, ”Zombie”, ”You Oughta Know” etc. etc. etc.
Going back to what our prime minister declared in the beginning, music journalists working for music publications in print are probably fast losing their jobs right now, as fewer and fewer people follow what’s happening in the world of popular music; thus, they could be employed at radio stations, so that the latter could fulfill their mission (duty) to play genuinely educating music to the masses. I assume, at least, that a competent music journalist knows much more intriguing and exciting songs than an average radio listener, who has only pricked up her ears for the 200 most recognisable songs in popular-music history. The journalist should know that multiplied by at least ten (10x).
And if the station owners say that that can’t be arranged, as the music-royalty payments would then be dispersed and scattered over far too big a corporate landscape, I would say that it’s bollocks. There appears to be only three major record labels in the world today (meaning Sony, Universal and Warner; in other words, one consumer-electronics giant and two movie-business giants, all of them companies that have found ways to make more money than there is to be made selling records), and any originally independent record company would appear to be in the possession of one of these three. Therefore, it shouldn’t be too hard to pay smaller amounts to a multitude of bands under a few (= three) ”umbrellas” instead of big lump sums to a handful of bands. I know that there are some independents around today still, but most of them are startups and were not around by the time the big buyouts in the music business began to happen. They, too, can be included in the moneysharing as long as they have produced and released something of merit and importance.
There might be a future for the radio still, but it for sure isn’t in the current state of affairs.
Puheen kesto: 6 min 39 sek
Arvio: * * * ½. Puhe on interaktiivinen, eri puolia referoiva ja monipuolinen mutta ehkä hieman vaikeasti seurattava. Toisaalta sitä on edeltänyt jo 6 puhetta, joten siinä mielessä on näköharha lukea tämä teksti ensimmäisenä puheena ja kuulla tämä sama teksti seitsemäntenä puheena — ja olettaa reseption olevan sama. Kun ihmiset ovat jossakin sisällä, he ymmärtävät sitäkin, mitä maallikot eivät tajua. Sisältö on kuultu jossakin muussakin yhteydessä, mutta onhan aihe tai agenda toistaiseksi ratkaisematon.