Can Harry Potter Save Radio?
Don’t look now, but JK Rowling has made radio relevant to kids. Kids! The little people who barely know what a radio is. If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, a major character in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows part one is a small, portable radio. Ron uses the radio to keep tabs on the war raging on back home and hoping not to hear any of his family listed among the casualties. His radio is informative, keeps them all connected, and is comforting when times are tough. This is amazing. Rowling could have had the kids twittering information or using text message, but she opted for the good ole’ reliable radio. Sure, it was scratchy at times, but when the content is good, important and necessary it’s worth listening through the static. At least that is the message being beamed around the World to millions of kids – most of whom have never considered listening to the radio for information or for any reason these days.
Two things the radio industry should do now, quickly.
1) Thank JK Rowling. Publicly, grandly, with much fanfare. Celebrate the role radio plays in Harry, Ron and Hermione‘s quest to conquer Voldemort. Seriously. After all, what was the last pop culture phenomenon to utilize radio; The Lone Ranger?
2) Capitalize on this moment. It maybe time to relaunch the kids format, Disney or something new, where kids can listen for their friends names to be called out on the radio (Just like Ron). Where they can get information from other kids on styles, movies, music and more. Interviews with child stars, etc. Plus, of course – great, kids music. Also, get portable radios into the hands of kids, now, while the memory of Ron, Harry and Hermione gathering around the radio is still fresh in their minds. Where is the radio industries “official Harry Potter portable radio?”
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