Sunday, February 8, 2009

Changes to Armed Forces Radio

A U.S. military tradition is about to be killed off by the iPod. Since World War II, the U.S. Armed Forces Radio (AFR) has broadcast to the troops, no matter where they are, using local transmitters and troops as announcers. But declining ratings, caused by iPods and changing tastes, has resulted in massive changes in what will be heard. Surveys and focus groups were conducted among the military audience, and it was found that a lot of the current programming was not well liked, or listened to. Troops would tune in for the news, and then go back to their MP3 players for music and podcasts. Another change that has sort of crept up on everyone is the fact that over half the troops are married, and most have kids. There are more families overseas, who are also AFR listeners, and they have different preferences than the troops..

Three years ago, troop surveys indicated that talk radio and country music should be cut back.