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Radio Downloads Draw Attention

Radio Downloads Draw Attention

For a flavor of how radio will be positioning itself in coming years, consider the latest article on radio technology from Reuters. Competition with music services in the era of the iPod is now a big part of the discussion.
Radio will be talking more about listener downloads and other new technologies, it reports, quoting Clear Channel engineering executive Jeff Littlejohn as saying, “We’re looking at a lot of different things. Downloads are definitely on the list.”
The news service also noted that XM Satellite Radio filed several patents, made public at the end of December, which outlined plans to develop music downloading services and devices.
Reuters noted what Radio World readers well know: that Clear Channel is in the process of converting most of its 1,200 radio stations to digital, a move that that “also will allow it to deliver up to eight more digital channels over the same amount of radio spectrum. The new capacity can be used for new products such as subscription services that target audiences not being served by current programming formats,” it quoting Littlejohn as saying.
Ibiquity CEO Bob Struble estimated that the ability to buy a song using a radio receiver is 18 months to two years away.
But whether there is revenue in this for radio broadcasters is unclear.
“We don’t think the business model associated with downloads is nearly as attractive as adding additional audio channels,” Littlejohn told Reuters, which noted that, unlike Apple, broadcasters would not be selling hardware along with the songs they’d offer.