Is Streaming Audio Making Radio Irrelevant?



At 11:59pm Thursday, WBRU-FM 95.5 in Providence will become an internet-only radio station. Yet, “WBRU is not going away,” station GM Kishanee Haththotuwegama said in a release dispatched this week. In her words, the longtime Alternative station associated with, but not owned by, Brown University is “moving to a 21st century platform with greater potential for creative expression and community service. As an organization of young people, we want to lead in platforms that we’re passionate about and future generations are passionate about.”

This suggests that university age students and future incoming freshmen are not, and will not be, passionate about what the radio industry has to offer.

The release on Aug. 30 of a new report from Larry Miller, a professor of Music Business at New York University-Steinhardt Department of Music & Performing Arts Professions punctuates this mindset. He declares that “broadcast radio is struggling to remain relevant as consumers embrace streaming platforms.” 

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