Just came across this interesting blog post on what appears to be a paradigm shift happening (or about to happen) in the radio industry.
... big used to matter. Big companies used to defeat small companies, big armies used to defeat small armies. The whole idea of being successful was to go to a big college, get a big job, run a big organization and do big things.
... what happened just in the last five or ten years is that big stopped mattering as much. Suddenly, you didn't need a big ad budget, you didn't benefit by being the biggest newspaper in a three- newspaper town, you didn't have economies of scale; in fact, the economies of tiny ... suddenly helped little guys succeed. ...
If you're in radio today, you have a spectacular asset: The ability to communicate to people directly who want to hear from you. But it's a wasting asset. And big media companies [are] trying very hard to ... ignore that.
The smart media companies, the ones who are thinking small, say “we have this really powerful asset, we need to use it to migrate the attention to smaller and smaller buckets of identifiable people who want to hear from us.” ... the mistake that media companies make is they listen to the advertisers. The advertisers didn't ask for Google. You build it first, and the advertisers show up second.
Sounds like good news for niche market broadcasters. There's an mp3 of an interview, about 16 minutes long, with a marketing guru at the site here.