Radio suffering from ‘blandification’ and needs new ideas: Kate Langbroek

The media has become obsessed with diversity of appearance, but still languishes when it comes to providing consumers with a diversity of ideas, the Hit Network’s drive-time host Kate Langbroek has argued.

Langbroek (far right) says “the tide is coming” 

Soon, she said, consumers will start demanding more from their media outlets.

“People seem to be obsessed with diversity, but not of ideas – so diversity of apperance, but not of ideas,” she said. “I just think that the tide is coming where people will want to hear something different and fresh and fearless.”

This, she said, will inform who the ‘next big thing’ in radio will be.

“If it’s [the next big talent line-up] going to be great, it will be unexpected. I think a watched pot never boils. I think there’s a tendency to rip people from the womb a little too early and plonk them somewhere and then wonder why it doesn’t work,” she said at the Radio Alive conference in Melbourne.

“So who’s fearless? That’s who it will be.”

Community radio is also suffering from the “blandification of ideas and voices”, she said.

Australian Radio Network’s Kiis FM drive host Will McMahon agreed, and said radio execs can place too much emphasis on trying to understand, dissect and direct what makes “good” content.

“There can also be far too many rules and regulations put around what is good and how that thing is good. I mean sort of sitting in a big room listening to people talk about how something is good at a conference over a weekend can make you feel [exhausted]… I think it’s really good to look inside how things are working, but I also think that in terms of trying to tell people how it’s kind of becoming good and prescribe to them why it will be good, is not the way forward,” he said.

“I think that people are really, genuinely addicted to authenticity and seeing people talk about something they they care about in their own way. I don’t think I gave two shits about a crocodile until I saw Steve Irwin talk about one.”


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