It's been around a week now since rock radio station NU 107 ceased operations and started blaring out pop tunes instead. Half of my friends are in mourning. The other half just doesn't care. I myself am a little torn up. I grew up with that radio station. My car radio was fused to 107.5 for years. But I'm not surprised. I actually think the owners of NU did the right thing. Things are exactly as they should be.
Before you start stoning me for being a rock heathen, let me clarify. NU 107 is just another victim in a long list of magazines, books, newspapers, radio stations, bookstores, CD stores, and record labels that died at the hands of the Internet. You see, radio stations are a business of course. And in the flash of an eye, the world changed, and it suddenly made no sense to broadcast rock tunes over the air in exchange for advertising.
Case in point:
• With 10,000 songs in my pocket, I don't need no stinkin' radio stations.
• I have more access to the music I love on the Internet. I can go deeper into my favorite bands' back catalogues. I can discover more indie bands and cool stuff, things that would never air even on NU.
• I'm guessing advertisers seeking mainstream audiences fled to more mainstream radio stations, meanwhile the Internet has grown up to be a useful marketing tool. It's a pattern that has been repeated in print, and in TV. The Long Tail by Chris Anderson explains it much better.
I guess this is a subject close to my heart because my own little magazine, T3 also died at the hands of the Internet (and the US financial crisis) in 2009. And the reasons were exactly the same. It's the same story as The Little Corner Bookshop in You've Got Mail. The same reasons behind why there's no more Tower Records in the Philippines. Or why all the major TV networks show the same garbage.
Don't be disheartened, rock fans. The Internet is a place of infinite possibilities. And there's much more music there.
So to NU 107 I say, thanks for the memories, I miss you. But I've missed you since I bought an iPod in 2003.