College radio has always been ahead of the curve. They play music commercial stations "must test" first. I started on a college radio station many years ago. We were a powerhouse. Some of my concepts were used (without consent might I add) on the local stations in the nearest market. And if you can't stay current....well that's your problem. Without college radio...forget about new music....talent...and new programming concepts.
Yes...college radio is so far ahead of the curve, it drove right off the cliff.
There is very little correlation between college and commercial radio these days. Didn't used to be like that; back in the day (until the mid 1990's or so) a good PD would pay attention to what the college stations were experimenting with. That was the problem...college radio saw commercial radio becoming more and more like college radio in terms of playing more and more "experimental" tracks. College radio stuck to its ethos of "being whatever commercial radio isn't" and drifted further and further from the mainstream. Until eventually college radio was so esoteric that nobody listened to it, save for a small niche audience that really likes that stuff.
Demographically high-speed internet, coupled with the iPod/iPhone, have changed everything in terms of bands looking to get their music out. Radio as a concept is rapidly losing ground to social media, with only the biggest players with the biggest audience shares getting any real attention. Small college radio stations are increasingly becoming ignored.
Plus at this point, a depressing amount of music selection is made at the regional or "corporate" level, if not higher. Those folks aren't, for the most part, listening to college radio for ideas.