20 Watts

Tuned Out: College Radio Struggles to Stay Afloat in the iPod Era (Pt. 2)

Some blame the advancements in In­ternet-based technology and the develop­ment of the blogosphere. With streaming album previews often available on MySpace and leaked songs posted almost instantly on Pitchfork or Stereogum, many feel that music fans no longer need terrestrial radio to break new artists to a wider audience.

WERW DJ Eric Scheib feels that the Internet is at least partially responsible for the decline of terrestrial radio. Scheib co-hosts a show called “The Stately Gentlemen” on Monday nights with fellow SU sophomore K.C. Ahlberg. While he admits that the Internet has affected the relevance of college radio stations, Scheib feels it presents more of a problem for commercial radio stations that would otherwise be responsible for introducing audiences to new music.

“The Internet has become a way to discover new music so easily, compared to the past,” he says. “That was a big part of radio – listening to the radio and hearing new songs and figuring out things you like. Now there’s more exploration on the Internet. It isn’t that big of a deal for col­lege radio, because people listen to college radio for different reasons.”

Zach Lax, a junior policy studies major at SU, doesn’t think Internet-based radio sta­tions are a viable solution to the problem. As DJ Zealous, Lax hosts a twice-weekly hip-hop show on Audiocandy+Radio, an online station founded by Dearing. And while Lax says that stations can’t afford not to be online in this day and age, he remains unsure of exactly how much the new format will affect listenership.

“The real problem here is not that there’s anything wrong with Internet radio, or with radio itself. The problem is that people don’t need the radio anymore to find out about their music,” he says. “Everyone today is their own DJ. [Radio] is a dying enterprise.”



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