Friday, August 1, 2008

Alternatives In Radio & Media

At Washington Interns Gone Bad, Jason Buckley rejoices in the finally allowed merger of XM-Sirius. He puts things in grande perspective:
But wait a second, you ask, aren't I supposed to be against big corporate media mergers? Well of course I am. But this isn't the same as Rupert Murdoch or Clear Channel or Viacom buying up as many TV stations, radio stations, newspapers, billboards, social networking sites and concert venues as they can get their greedy little hands on to homogenize the information that the public has access to and race to find the lowest common denominator to market to. No, these are two new companies using new technology to compete with the monolithic media conglomerates out there. And that is why the National Association of Broadcasters has pumped hundreds of millions in bribes of lobbying dollars to keep these struggling companies from merging. No, the terrestrial media does not want another kind of media that the public can opt into and take their eyes and ears away from their advertising, and for them to say that they are against this because it's a monopoly is laughable. These stuffed suits are scared shitless of having to compete with a medium that is uncensored and has less advertising, and they bought off enough members of congress and FCC hacks to make this the longest merger approval process perhaps in the history of business. To put it in perspective, oil companies have their mergers approved practically overnight, and look how great that's been for the consumer. This was a concerted effort to kill an emerging medium, and completely the opposite of any kind of free market capitalism that these people supposedly believe in when it's convenient to them.
Though I can't afford to be a subscriber, I too have been hoping for the merger for the very same reasons. I'm all for alternatives ~ especially those which positively shake-up and wake-up the media.

For too long real choices have been kept from those of us who, due to economic imprisonment, have been forced to subsist on the mediocre & the conservative. Neither form fosters real discussion.

What upsets and concerns me the most is that you cannot really call current media "mainstream" as it doesn't accurately reflect what the majority thinks &/or wants. We, the huddled masses, cannot express our votes as consumers as readily, greedily, as those in corporate media ~ or those whose wealth exploits and pressures it. Millions of viewers/listeners are less valued than the millions of advertising dollars; for even while we are the target audience which is supposed to have the final say in a capitalistic society, our shifting & shrinking buying power potential is like those birds in the bush when compared to the bird in the hand of ad revenues, product placement, and the "values" these companies want extolled. And so, media no longer is for us. Or even about us.

I'm not saying that satellite radio is perfect, nor that it will not become like the rest; certainly cable TV has changed from a subscriber focused media to an advertiser driven business. But maybe, just maybe, satellite radio will learn to capitalize, monetize, the opportunity to appeal to listeners. And we will have not only alternative media, but alternatives in media.

Of course, you need not use satellite radio to get alternative media. May I recommend XXBN? *wink*

1 comment:

Jason said...

I'm not even a subscriber to satellite radio or any premium TV channels, but I find the media that is not under the thumb of government censors to always put out better content. And once there's serious money to be made by creating original online content, I think the same will be said for that. The dinosaurs of media are facing extinction rather than adapting and evolving and it's rather pathetic.