The idea of broadcasting - as opposed to narrowcasting - is to appeal to as many people as possible. When a mass medium is new, broadcasting is dominant. But with time more outlets appear and competition drags viewers away from broadcasters. It's happening with TV right now for example. More viewers turn to cable for niche content instead of sticking with what ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox offer them.
The question is whether this is bound to happen. History says yes, radio today has very specific stations, TV is widening and it's hard to broadcast online when people can find content adjusted to their interests in a second. Perhaps time will always be broadcasting's greatest enemy, because we've seen over and over that media have to specialize to survive. So what can broadcasters do with their production to hang in there?
The thing about cable TV and its specialized content is that it has tiers of service. If you want to have access to HBO you have to subscribe to a bundle and pay a lot of money. This is the first thing broadcasters have to take advantage of - they have to stay cheap. Whether radio, TV or Internet, if you're trying to broadcast to the masses you cannot overcharge. People will think "well I didn't really like that anyway" and turn to something they know they'll like.
A second advantage broadcasters have over narrowcasters is ad revenue. There are many large companies out there who want to advertise to as many people as possible, and broadcasters give them that chance. Broadcasters have to keep teaming up with these national companies and profit from them. This will help them stay cheap and they won't need subscription fees.
Finally, it's a good idea for broadcasters to create themed periods, i.e. days or hours during the day when the have special content - and the viewers know about this. Many broadcasters do this, AM radio or rock night, game shows during the day or crime Thursday on prime time. This way they have overall broadcast content but specific periods that are specialized and people can choose a time of their liking to get specialized content from a broadcast source.
Just some thoughts there. Overall I think that time will always limit the number of broadcasters, and with the Internet they could possibly disappear. There are too many instant choices and people don't have to put up with the little content they don't like to see what they do like.
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