Originally Posted by SAM64
Broadcasters can't dictate content to their content providers.
That's true, but they can "adjust" the content after they receive it to make it compliant. That's pretty much what I do all day, every day. Well actually, I use software that does it for me -- every commercial we receive is processed by the software and it "adjusts" the level of the file so that it hits the desired average of -24 LKFS. After it's done, I measure it when it goes into our server -- if the software got it wrong, I'll change the parameters and process it again. Note that this is NOT altering the dynamics of the material, just the overall gain, same as you would do with a volume control.
Sad to say, this does not seem to be the norm. In inquiring with people at several other stations, it seems that nobody is measuring anything before it goes into their servers -- they just put everything in "as-is," and then use heavy-handed audio processing in order to make things "compliant." To my ears, this doesn't really fix the problem, and in many cases, the super-compression makes the commercials sound even louder, even though the "meter" might say otherwise. We're right back where we started!
Even sadder, the sonic quality of the audio processors being used today is really offensive to my ears. They make me feel very uncomfortable, to the point where I MUST change the channel. I've had to resort to buying the shows I want from iTunes or Amazon, as that's the only way to hear them without being offended. Truly, the audio of many stations, even in top markets, sounds markedly worse than they did in the analog days.