I’ve been involved in Christian radio since 1984. I’ve seen full-service, Inspo, Light AC, Christian Hit Radio, full blown AC, talk and probably everything in between. As a Christian radio listener, you’re probably jumping from station to station. You have your favorite Top-40, News Talk, Oldies and yes, your favorite Christian station. You may even have multiple levels of favorites for each.
You think your kids can’t focus?
Chances are the longest you spend on any of those stations is 10 to 15 minutes. What makes you turn the channel? When you hear something you don’t want to hear. You’re right, kids can’t focus either. But, it’s not because they don’t like something. How do I know this? Because most boys can spend HOURS in front of a video game
So, what’s the take away from this? Make radio like a video game. You laugh, but think about it. If you provide kids radio programming that allows their minds to get the same stimulation they get from a video game, you’ve hit a home run. The challenge is, most kids don’t want to sit and listen to radio anymore. They want more and they’re getting it through either their own or their parents mobile devices.
That’s what’s interesting about reaching kids today. You don’t NEED radio to do it. It’s going to help, but your success isn’t as dependent on it. Frankly, we have our own radio stations in the palm of our hands.
Christian radio professionals know this. Frankly, they have to be worried. While young people are listening to music, they’re not listening to it on radio stations. They’re listening on things like Pandora or Spotify. They do listen when mom and dad are listening, but they tend to want what they want. They select the kinds of songs they want, filling their own musical choices, and supplement those choices with online interests to give them a multi-media extravaganza.
Keys for Kids Ministries is in the process of investing into something that kids don’t need to be on, but want to be involved with. It’s going to be an app on steroids. We want music, audio, video, games and things we don’t even know about yet. Our desire is to provide a cutting edge, kid-friendly, kid-craved, media platform that will not only point kids to Christ, but encourage them to grow in their faith.
What does this mean for the future of Christian radio? Radio stations (Christian and non-Christian) need to be ready to provide multi-media platforms to reach young people, especially as they become teenagers. While they may settle down a bit, craving to be entertained as they learn won’t go away.