May 9th, 2012
01:30 PM ET

Jad Abumrad: radio that's close to filmmaking

When's the last time someone told you about something they heard on the radio?

In an age of constant connectivity, social media and instant-access video, radio seems to literally be old news – a relic of past generations.

But the innovative, wildly popular WNYC-produced show Radiolab is looking like the exception.

"Being on the Internet has only increased our reach and the number of people who consume public radio," says Ira Glass, who hosts NPR's "This American Life," arguably the most popular radio show currently produced.

The Internet has transformed radio into live streams and podcasts. The inherent nature of radio has transitioned from ephemeral to enduring.

Think about it. A podcast by its very nature is permanent. It has an address – a url. It can be searched and, more importantly, downloaded. Listeners can 'own it,' play it repeatedly and share it with friends.

Traditionally radio has also been a social binder – families gathered around the radio to listen to the lastest news, fisted-clinched sports fans  listening with eager ear to last inning of the ballgame. But today its digitalization is making radio a more personal experience.

"When you're on a podcast you're deep into someone's ear canal. Maybe they're on the subway, maybe they're jogging, or maybe they're just sitting there," says Jad Abumrad, co-creator and host of Radiolab.

"Somehow you own them in a way you don't on the radio," says Jad Abumrad about how his work can engage his audience more deeply. "So subconsciously that gives us permission to do all kinds of things."

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Filed under: Art • Film • Geek Out • Innovation • The Next List • Video