The Audience Isn’t Listening


We’re familiar with the phrase and film clip from George Lucas’ THX sound system; The audience is listening. A bold declaration that the audio system in your theatre is revolutionary.

That concept worked in the 80s to describe not only theatre design, but also broadcasting. It was one way. The audience was listening. The broadcaster was broadcasting.

But not anymore.

In the new world, the audience is broadcasting.

Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, texting, SMS, YouTube, Blogs – these are more than broadcast networks, they’re social networks. They’re more than broadcast media, they’re social media.

And when I say they’re MORE than broadcast, it means that broadcasters are no longer first in the pecking order of media.

Social media is about having a conversation. Broadcast media is a one way street.

Broadcasting means I’m telling you what I think. Sure I’m a dj on the radio and there’s a request line here, but we don’t really play requests because we have a music director who picks the music. So we’ll “play what we want”. We’re broadcasters.

But that’s not how people work anymore.

The audience is no longer content to sit there and take it. Sure, they will listen, but they also want to speak. They want to engage. They want to share. They want to socialize. They want to have their half of the conversation heard.

So…. the audience was listening. And now they’re broadcasting. And socializing.

The question is, are the broadcasters listening?

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2 Comments

  1. DJ_Jason
    March 1, 2010

    Honestly I do not feel most broadcasters care. There is a fine line in the behavior. Broadcasters thrive on ratings and how famous they may become, but forgot about those who made it possible.
    I am a DJ also, but I always take the time to socialize with the listeners. I may never be as popular or famous as some DJ's, but someone like me who isn't in it for the fame would like to have respect of some of the DJ's (Broadcasters) that I have supported. I support the listeners in every way, no matter what the reason.
    Social networking is the way it goes now. As a Social Broadcaster, I would like to see everyone be treated as a VIP.

  2. December 8, 2010

    While many broadcasters have caught up with the growth of the social web, I feel that, by and large, most still haven’t caught on, or many of those that do don’t really “get it”.

    While it may be easy enough to set up a twitter account/facebook page/youtube channel and spew whatever comes to mind out to the world, it’s a whole other thing to actually reach out and make it a truly interactive, even social experience. This is something that some (including you, Buzz) do rather well, but most getting into the space sadly don’t as yet.

    As social media continues to evolve, as broadcasting continues to do, we’ll eventually reach a point where both work in a complimentary manner, as opposed to one being used to hock the other on the public in yet another manner (when was the last time you responded to a bus bench ad anyway?).

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