Over the past few years, radio has seen a decline in listeners mostly to a website called Pandora.com that plays music based on the listener’s tastes. So far the online radio service has topped 40 million registered users. Radio’s one advantage, of use solely in automobiles, is being usurped by advancing technology such as Pandora entering Ford automobiles (). Other Internet only radio stations have taken some of radio’s listeners including LastFM.com which similarly to Pandora plays an Internet station tailor-made to the consumer. Over 35 million users come to this website every month.
Disc Jockeys are finding work outside the traditional radio model as well. Adam Carrolla, who once was a morning talk-show host in Los Angeles, was fired when his radio station switched formats. He immediately bought some basic recording equipment from a local music shop and started a podcast or show made specifically for downloading off the internet. His programs have been downloaded more than 50 million times over the past year, and Carrolla himself says that he feels radio’s future lies in podcasts rather than traditional radio or the satellite radio provider Sirius XM.
The role that was once played by many DJ’s, to announce the title and artists of songs played on the radio, has been replaced by one of countless apps or programs downloaded to smart phones over the Internet. The world’s leading app for song identification is Shazam. This program “listens” to the song playing from a radio or other source and identifies it. This has lead to bigger sales of the songs identified by Shazam, and now the company is partnering with the television cable network, Syfy. The promotion asks users of Shazam to identify certain songs played during one of the Syfy programs to receive special rewards .
These aspects of radio are not found inside a radio station building or owned by one radio company.. These are industries created out of another industry’s shortcomings. People rely on these new businesses for music, for talk entertainment, and for music identification the way they once relied on one radio industry.