Paul McLane is editor in chief.
The news about an Apple patent that involves radio
As we’ve reported
on our website, the
received a patent for “seamless
switching between radio and local media.” This raises a host of possibilities;
and one of the most obvious is that it presumably will make it easier for consumers
to avoid commercials, and that presumably is a bad thing for the traditional revenue-based
radio model (sample headline this morning: “New
Apple Patent Could Kill Commercial Radio”).
But before we hyperventilate, the news could also be seen as positive.
Radio advocates have long urged Apple to incorporate
radio into its products more widely. Here we see Apple giving signs that it is
thinking about how radio fits into media products, and how to better integrate
it. This development could imply broader interest on the part of Apple in
incorporating radio functionality more widely.
reading patent tea leaves always is a dangerous hobby, and companies often file
patents that do not directly result in products. Some early chatter is that Apple could “transform” radio with this. I am always leery of such reactions. There is much to ponder here. We’ll watch with interest to
see what Apple, and industry observers, have to say about this.