For some people, the world is changing too quickly to keep up. Yet, one thing that seems to remain constant is that reliable stream that comes through on your car radio. But is this really a constant? To understand the future of radio broadcasting in Australia, it is essential to recognize the
Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) as the key player to broadcasting. A non-profit organization, the CBAA helps to foster the broadcasting networks of the entire country, with the intent of stimulating growth and simultaneously keeping broadcasting alive. Given that the CBAA monitors broadcasting in Australia, their awareness of all sections of the national community is unparalleled, with 80% of their members being permanently licenced to various community radio stations all throughout Australia. Needless to say, any future endeavours or changes in radio broadcasting in Australia will have a direct correlation and impact with the CBAA, so it is important to understand their role in radio.
As far as the general future for radio in Australia goes, this seems to be a vast landscape that changes depending upon who you ask. Some believe that in 15 years time, radio will no longer exist, while many others are hopeful that current technology (like social media) will only be providing a platform for radio to thrive and prosper in the many decades to come. An example of how radio is evolving is with a specific case of 4ZZZ 102.1FM in Brisbane. A radio station that has been on the air for over 35 years, they decided to begin a second digital station entitled ZDigital that allowed them to not only reach larger audiences, but to have the availability to do more interactive things like festival recordings. A trend that many radio stations across Australia (and the globe) are sharing, digital radio to many is the future of radio while the modern world recognizes this as well.
As radio blindly marches forward, alongside other media forms like television, another component that is for certain is that radio producers are going to have to be more adaptive, knowledgable, and diligent when it comes to producing. Why is this? Social media, that’s why. As can be seen with the rapid growth of social media sites (not just Facebook, but Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram) broadcasters are going to have to get used to wearing an endless amount of hats of all styles. With this, many broadcasters are hoping that radio will continue to evolve to become a multi-media realm of technology alongside its counterparts.
Yet, there still are the purist who (when asked about the future of radio in Australia) don’t believe radio (at it’s fundamental core) will change at all, and that radio will continue to always be a person or commentator who is presenting or discussing a topic passionately, regardless of what way it is presented. The only universally acknowledged aspect for the future of radio in Australia is that it is still in the baby stages of reform, and to completely understand where it will end up is practically impossible at this point. Just be prepared for change.