Sean Adams, from Drowned in Sound, a music webzine, said strong radio personalities were vital to counteract the ghettoisation of music - where because of digital radio services people only listen to the type of music they already enjoy. “We now have a billion ways of getting our music. That can be massively damaging because people aren’t listening to music that they may not like on first listen, and there is this problem of the web making everything bland,” he said.
“The web has enabled everyone to be a DJ and in some ways that has diluted the need for [them] but people are still looking for direction and gatekeepers. The need for an established medium has changed but that doesn’t mean we don’t still need people like John Peel.”
This only works if the DJ is free from the constraints of playlists and demographic profiling, a freedom that is increasingly rare.