|Maybe Radio Isn’t Dead
By: Mike Bush
While the overall number of folks tuning in on their AM or FM dials is dropping, a podcast is showing that perhaps the long-talk format isn’t dead, just on-demand.
Serial, a podcast from the creators of This American Life, has taken the Internet and the U.S. by storm. A Google search for the podcast shows it’s been covered by the Huffington Post, Washington Post, Seattle Post Intelligencer, The Atlantic, Slate and the BBC (flacks everywhere are impressed with the earned media), and most interestingly, the show hasn’t even finished yet.
Serial goes in depth to re-investigate a murder trial. It explores each of the details presented by the main characters in the trial, and asks whether or not the guilty verdict handed down by the jury is accurate. And it’s compelling as hell. It’s Law & Order for the imagination (you can’t see the characters, so you need to build pictures of them in your own mind).
To be clear, this is not a new concept. 85 years ago, a scripted radio program known as The Shadow dominated the airwaves. Like Serial, it was theater for the mind. And like Serial, people couldn’t wait for the next episode.
Perhaps the audio medium (radio) isn’t dead yet. Perhaps it just needed to revisit its roots and be available on its audience's schedule.
Mike Bush is a PR and Marketing freelancer with more than a dozen years of experience in the field. Find him on and connect Twitter @mikebush or at www.mikebush.nyc.
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