Did Video Kill the Radio Star, or Will Spotify?

by Jette-Mari Anni

Most Americans listen to the radio while commuting, but with the pandemic ravaging the country for the past nine months, many cars have stayed parked for the duration. Since car radio is so easy to turn on and tune in, it makes complete since why many adults don’t even bother connecting their device via Bluetooth. Younger people, however, rarely leave their spot before choosing the perfect mood-matching playlist on their favorite streaming site. It seems like the stay-at-home population is hopping on their trend, especially now that Spotify rolled out with their very own FM-style morning show, The Get Up.

The best part of anyone’s favorite radio show is the host bringing it alive. I definitely didn’t know as much about video games and music until I started listening to Duff Stuff and Chris Duffy’s humor kept me glued to my radio. Thinking about it, almost all my favorite shows hold the title because X has such great jokes or Y always has the best food recommendations. I’ve even enjoyed a whole NCC baseball game (a whole one!) thanks to Ryan Sartori’s commentary. And don’t even get me started on the cool new tunes Demi Clara has exposed me to during Local Chaos.

The emotional connection to the DJ has always been the main advantage over any curated playlist. Podcasts stole our devotion for a similar reason – they gave us our favorite stories and personas uninterrupted by that one overplayed pop song. If only there was one that combined my favorite music and my favorite people. Spotify might’ve hit really close to that dream.

Spotify’s The Get Up is hosted by Kat Lazo, Speedy Morman, and Xavier “X” Jernigan. The three of them bring a diverse set of experiences and minds to a discussion. Topics are expected to range from news to pop culture, from music to entertainment, and beyond. However, if you’re not feeling up to chitchat that particular morning, you can skip the chatter all together, because the content isn’t live. However, it’ll feature content that’s designed around listener engagement, like call-in stories or contests. The Get Up will generate the music based on your personal likes. Any song is skippable, and the show will be available after 7 a.m. EDT on weekday mornings.

However, there’s something to be said about the traditional radio morning show. The true moments happen during live content, and most of us have experienced the joy when our request is played. Another treasure is choosing your favorite genre and then your favorite persona or station, something The Get Up isn’t enabling you to choose together. If the topics discussed by the three hosts aren’t your cup of tea, you might still go back to your old morning routine. Radio stations are often dear to people when they’re local and involved with the community. Will Spotify, with its worldwide audience, stand to the challenge of creating that same kind of intimacy?

Radio audiences have been declining over the last decade, and even in the last few months. Now that Spotify has bridged the gap between podcasts and music stations, how will other music and podcast platforms counter? Did video kill the radio star, or are we now witnessing its final countdown? We definitely hope you’ll keep coming back for the classics to the cutting edge on FM 89!