Craig Birkmaier wrote: > Yup. This is democratizing radio as we know it. ANYONE can be a > broadcaster and find a niche audience for their content. As wireless > networks become ubiquitous, more and more people will have the ability > to access podcasts on demand. But podcasts are also an interesting > alternative to broadcasting as they can be cached and consumed when the > listener has time. This will affect radio in much the same way that DVRs > are affecting TV.Speaking of cached mobile (to the extent we are) it occurs to me that the best place to acquire cached on-demand content would be at gas stations. If every gas pump had a gig-e or better connection and the cars could ingest it then when you filled up with gas you could pick up the kids prime time shows from last night. Even if not re-encoded you could purchase one and download it at maybe 30x real time speed, taking 2 minutes for an hour show while you filled your tank. Get the next show at the next stop, full (but unnecessary) HD for the kids in the back seat and/or hours of listening for the driver. Add the most recent 10 minute CNN headline news loop in an extra few seconds.
Call them PJ's, Petrol Jukeboxes. Or in the USA maybe media pumps. ;) - Tom
At 3:30 PM -0500 12/1/07, Albert Manfredi wrote:In an interesting piece on NPR yesterday, the interviewee was describing all the different ways radio programs can be received (e.g. FM, HD Radio, satellite radio, podcast, Internet). He said that 20 years from now, no one will be listening to terrestrial radio anymore. The same can probably be said about TV.Perhaps the distinction that this person was trying to make is that BROADCASTING is what is threatened as we move into a world where there are multiple options for content. For generations we have been accustomed to the idea that content and advertising are connected at the hip. And we have gradually evolved from having just a few content choices that everyone shared, to today's proliferation of choices and delivery infrastructures.This sort of thing always makes me wonder. What are the REAL technical differences between these systems, and why should anyone make such forecasts?Boiling this down to essentials, it seems to me that the real functional differences between these sches are as follows:1. Satellite radio is nationwide, receivable almost anywhere, and there's lots of channels available, but otherwise real-time just like terrestrial.You are correct about the National footprint, which is one of the main selling points of the satellite radio services. People who are on the road a lot enjoy the continuity of the service; radio broadcasting is highly discontinuous, in terms of coverage and the ability to make the transition to the same content from market to market.The OTHER main selling point is that MOST of these channels are commercial free, and the playlists are MUCH deeper than for OTA radio's highly formatted vertical market approach. This may change somewhat with HD radio, but it will still be advertiser supported.2. Internet radio is global and potentially also recorded for anytime playback. But it can only be received in fixed locations or hotspots.Wireless Internet access will be ubiquitous at some point during the next decade - the broadcasters no longer have the political clout to sit on all the spectrum they have controlled. The really interesting thing about the 700 MHz auctions is that clever people are going to demonstrate just how much potential there is if wireless networks are built properly. These new services are not only going to be significantly more spectral efficient, but they will be two way, allowing people to pull content, not just tune into broadcasts.3. Podcast (or similar) is purely recorded for non-real-time playback.Yup. This is democratizing radio as we know it. ANYONE can be a broadcaster and find a niche audience for their content. As wireless networks become ubiquitous, more and more people will have the ability to access podcasts on demand. But podcasts are also an interesting alternative to broadcasting as they can be cached and consumed when the listener has time. This will affect radio in much the same way that DVRs are affecting TV.There is very little to prevent terrestrial radio from competing in most of these fronts. If people like national coverage, then terrestrial operators should offer that. Much like NPR does. If people like podasts, in theory HD Radio could set aside some bandwidth for that too, in non-real-time (faster or slower) channels for recording, although I think that's silly. The Internet is better for those who want to go to the trouble of downloading content.Terrestrial radio cannot provide a seamless footprint for content. You might be able to find NPR stations to listen to along the I-95 corridor in the N.E., but try driving though the rural south and midwest, or the wide open spaces of the west.Broadcasting is push, not pull. The one area that radio broadcasters have not exploited is the addition of cache storage to radio receivers, especially in cars. I believe there is a market to record some radio programming (especially talk radio) while a vehicle is sitting parked. But ubiquitous Internet access may make this a moot point, if one can easily pull the desired content on demand.Like DTT, HD Radio should be able to compete if it (a) makes good use of multicasting to offer greater choice, and (b) provides nationwide coverage of material people really like. If there's any truth that "localism" matters to people, a limited amount of bandwidth could be set aside for that. Just as in DTT.It can't do the nationwide coverage. The programming may be carried on stations around the country, just as many radio programs are syndicated today. But the coverage will not be seamless.Radio thrives on localism - they do a far better job of it that their brethren in TV land.Personally, as long as radio broadcasters keep serving their markets with useful programming and localized information, I think they WILL survive. I am less convinced that music stations will survive, than those that focus on talk, news and sports.Seems to me that to be a successful business in the past 50 years or so, what you really need is SCALE. Same goes for radio and TV. The mom-and-pop operations, while some have an unrealistic sentimental attachment to them, have a tough time of it. People vote with their wallets. In the US, if too much is made of "localism" in radio and DTT, that will spell its demise. This relates to arguments about national cap limits, IMO.Localism is what broadcasting does best. And I'm not talking the content between the ads. The most important function of Radio and TV broadcasting is the ability to deliver advertising that is optimized for individual markets.The major threat here is that local business will find more efficient ways to reach potential customers. I believe that wireless data is going to dominate this space within a decade. The ability to pull the entertainment and information you need, when you need it trumps the shotgun approach of broadcast advertising.Regards Craig ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways:- Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.
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