This week's most anticipated news may have been the almost-launch of Apple’s iTunes Radio. Yet, according to Digital Music News, the president of Clear Channel, John Sykes, has told Digital Music News that those declaring the imminent death of terrestrial radio are way off base:
"They don't realize that not all people live in big cities such as
New York Cityand Los Angeles. And not all people can afford to pay a $15-a-month subscription."
At his State of the Industry keynote at the New Music Seminar, Sykes told the audience that terrestrial broadcast is alive and well, and still has the biggest reach and is a more powerful discovery tool than any other music platform. "Over 92 percent of the
population that are over 12 years old still listen to radio for an average of
2.1 hours a day," he said.
"That's pretty much the same percentage of the population that was listening to radio in the 1970s – and it's still the basic way people discover new music."
Sykes also claimed that the broadcast giant was one of the best pals the music industry could ever have, reaching around 240 million Americans a month. "We curate," he said. "We may come in late [in the discovery process] – but we are still the number one place where people discover music."
Sykes also claimed that Clear Channel is "investing heavily in helping develop new music". After all, he said, the company knows that if radio doesn't play a record, it's not going to break.