Future to Radio Broadcasting: Drop Dead

Is it possible that the days are numbered for the “broadcasting” part of radio broadcasting?It is certainly no secret that Internet based and mobile media’s assault on the attention span of consumers grows daily. And since that attention quotient is
Publish date:

Is it possible that the days are numbered for the “broadcasting” part of radio broadcasting?

It is certainly no secret that Internet-based and mobile media’s assault on the attention span of consumers grows daily. And since that attention quotient is finite, what one segment gains, another loses.

Broadcast radio grudgingly has ceded ground in the home as iPod-style devices, the Internet and smartphone-based mobile media march forward but in the car broadcast radio has remained dominant. Futzing with iPods and smartphones can be a diverting and harrowing experience in the car, and the Internet is not a player on the road.

Make that “wasn’t” a player on the road.

As you may have seen reported in Radio World, Ford and Pandora, the Internet-based music service, recently demonstrated a new service, to be available in the 2011 Ford Fusion, wherein a smartphone was used as an Internet portal for Pandora. But more than that, an app (they’re everywhere!) allowed the Fusion’s music system to interact with Pandora and respond to voice commands.

This Ford video demo is effective visual evidence of how it works; it is recommended viewing. Ease of use is a high priority; and the demo indicates that at least some of the players are well aware of that.

Can this be dismissed as just another “quadraphonic” demo, or is this Beta — meaning, this particular type might not succeed but the overall idea is about to radically change a whole industry within a few years? Radio World’s Leslie Stimson entertained the question in her coverage of the January CES show.

My takeaway answer: The Internet is coming to the car, like it or not; use it or not.

At the moment the Internet is going to be reliant on smartphones to get in, but how long before a manufacturer or after-market parts maker installs Wi-Fi or WiMax receivers in their cars. After that, the apps will come and then the rest of the modern media world will flood in like the proverbial barbarians overwhelming the Roman Empire.


Moss: Is Dead Air Better in Stereo?

Brett Moss is RW gear and technology editor.SRS Labs’ recent announcement of SRS HD Audio Lab might normally go unnoticed by broadcasters. It certainly wasn’t of the magnitude of “Mr. Watson, come here …” or even “Dewey Defeats Truman” but

Moss on: Whither the Car ‘Radio’

There was a time, for us old timers, when simply having a radio in a car was a bonus. Even better if it actually worked. Then came AM FM car radios and then the possibility of a cassette player built

Moss: Spectrum Repurposing, and Lessons for Radio

by Brett MossFCC Chairman Julius Genachowski got the attention of broadcasters recently by bringing in as an advisor a law professor who has floated the idea that the broadcast spectrum, as currently configured, might not be sacrosanct. It might not

When Your HD2 Dies, Do People Notice?

There's been scant attention given to the question of quality of service on digital broadcasts, particularly multicast channels. I think that’s because most observers believe that few consumers are in a position to be affected, given the low number of

Moss on: Ghosts of Radios Past

Everyone likes a good mystery. And radio broadcasters like a good radio broadcast mystery, right?What better place for a great radio broadcast mystery than the misty Highland heathers of Scotland? From the romantic land of Bonnie Prince Charlie comes the

Moss on: Smartphone Listening Habits Studied

A Canadian research firm, Vision Critical, recently completed an online poll attempting to gauge smartphone and iPod Touch users’ listening habits.Whether smartphone users are listening to broadcast radio was a question the Internet based poll was trying to determine. And

Another Internet Media Audition

How will the media consumers of tomorrow get their media? Anyone who has been paying attention knows that a titanic shift in media consumption is underway, in hardware, in format, in presentation and in content. In many ways, tomorrow has