The LAT Business section has a piece explaining the issues behind the rumored format shift at Indie 103.1. Sounds like it’s really happening. If this were a crappy ’90s movie about an underground radio station (c.f. ‘Pump Up the Volume’, ‘A Matter of Degrees’) there’d be a grass-roots listener effort to Save The Music. You know, impassioned anti-consumerism monologues, a scrappy pirate radio station set up in the basement of the house of someone’s oblivious parents, etc.
But radio consultant Jeff Pollack, quoted in the Times, hits it on the head:
“People fall in love with the concept of the station,” Pollack said, but he added that “in this era that kind of eclectic music mix is competing with offerings on the Internet and the music collections of people with their own iPods.”
In other words, it’s not necessarily competition from broader-appeal stations like KROQ that’s limiting Indie 103’s growth potential. Instead, it’s the consumption patterns of 103’s intended demographic. Upwardly mobile white people in LA own MP3 players and don’t really need radio. So if you want to save Indie 103, don’t smash the system. Smash your iPod.