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Two Outsiders Discuss Future of FM Radio

It can be very interesting to see how outsiders view the future of radio

LOS ANGELES�In the virtual pages of Digital Radio Update, I have often discussed the future of radio and where I feel it is going.� It can be very interesting to see how outsiders view the same topic.� Let�s take a look at a few articles that came out this week.� The topics may seem disparate, but in fact they�re closely related.

The first isan article from Forbesentitled:� �Is The Norway Switch-Off The Beginning Of The End For FM�Radio?� written by Bobby Owinski.� Quoting Bobby:� �While the U.S. is far from officially abandoning FM radio, the fact that other countries are already in the process of doing so means that at least on some level, the writing may be on the wall that FM�s days are numbered.� That said, the same was predicted for AM radio many times over the last four decades, yet the platform has managed to reinvent itself every time.

�As far as music is concerned, FM radio is still the major way that people discover new music. Record labels still assign vast resources aimed at radio promotion, which can still be the difference in a song being a hit.

�This may be one time where being a follower is far better for business than being the leader.�

If you look at Bobby�s picture, he�s an older gentleman.�

Now contrast that with an article fromrcrwireless.comby Sean Kinney.� His bio line says he graduated in 2008, so we can reasonably estimate his age at around 30.� It starts off like this:

�Remember FM radio? The National Association of Broadcasters certainly does and, because many mobile manufacturers disable FM on smartphones, there�s tension brewing.

��Samsung, Apple and LG phones, for example, could function as FM radios but the functionality is disabled. �HTC, Motorola and Sprint phones have the same technology but it�s not blocked. ��The NAB is lobbying for the FM radio to be activated in all phones, buta consumer listening to FM radio doesn�t need to buy the data coverage needed to listen to streaming radio content.” �(Italics are mine.)

�Joe Carpenter, VP of government affairs for wireless trade association CTIA, told participants in the NAB convention in Las Vegas this month that FM functionality would have to be driven by consumer demand, which currently just isn�t there.

�What Americans really want is the ability to stream, download and customize music playlists to meet their personal preferences,� Carpenter said, according to reports, �and that�s not what the traditional FM radio offers.�

You can continue to look for articles on the internet until such time as you find one that agrees with your own personal feelings, of course.� I have no idea why Sean has the attitude that he does about FM radio, but, let me finish up with a couple of stats that I found, courtesy of theSouthern California Broadcaster�s Association.

By the way, the original source of this information is Morgan Stanley, published in January of 2015.

Take that, Sean Kinney.��