Quick Hits: Radio conglomerates, voice control, and album art

Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web:

Questioning the conglomerate approach: Billboard reviewed the conflicts between terrestrial radio’s conglomerates and smaller operations. Critics of large groups such as iHeartMedia and Cumulus argue that the brands’ programming has become homogenized due to financial pressures, which means listeners can get more variety through online or digital radio platforms. “Now you have a budget you’ve had to slash and you’re running a national playlist instead of local programming,” said John Gorman, founder of online station oWOW. “You’re not the same platform that you once were.”

“Next song, Siri”: The tech world has been making big strides with voice control tools. Apple, Google, and Amazon all have products with voice control, and they are starting to influence how people can listen to music at home.

Album art endures: Many a thinkpiece bemoans the death of the album, but a blog post on Landr examines how one aspect of those musical creations is still valuable. Scott Parsons explores the role of album art, and how it can still help hook listeners thanks to the visual display options given by streaming services.

Anna Washenko