Until recently, radio seemed to have escaped the forces of the internet. Not so for the newspaper industry which has been ravaged.
Will Radio Suffer the Same Fate as Newspapers?
On the rare occasion I see somebody reading a paper copy of a newspaper, they are – to be polite – of a certain age.
Younger generations who have smartphones with feed reader Apps and generous data plans don’t need newspapers. They get their news from a myriad of internet sources, many of which are not traditional media. Is the same thing happening to radio?
Internet Connected Cars – How will this affect Radio?
Radio had a safe sanctuary – the car – which was largely an internet free zone.
But all that is changing. By 2015, 50% of all cars sold will be internet connected. They will have Wi-Fi hot spots and services such as Apple CarPlay or Google’s Android Auto. Since 44% of all radio listening takes place in the car, radio will now have to compete with a staggering choice of internet audio content.
Until now, AM/FM and satellite radio has been accessed through the radio dial. A position on that dial was like owning a valuable piece of land since only a finite number of positions existed. But with internet connected cars, the concept of the radio dial will no longer be relevant.
Internet connected cars offer listeners a direct route to the audio content they crave. Just as it did with newspapers, the internet is removing the power of radio stations to act as a middleman for content. And this is good news for content producers and listeners.
How will Content Producers be Affected?
The internet offers many ways for content producers like aspiring musicians or interview show hosts to have their content aired.
Podcasts, YouTube, Google Hangouts or SoundCloud are just a few. Then there are streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn Radio or Stitcher.
What Choices will Listeners make?
The internet gives Listeners a new paradigm of On Demand Audio.
They can access content any time they want from any source on the internet and through Apps. They won’t be dependent on radio programming.
There have been predictions that traffic reports, a mainstay of radio, may go the way of the dinosuars. (Larry Rosin, Edison Reseach) Apps do a better job of providing real time traffic for specific routes.
The internet has been chipping away at radio for a few years.
Auxiliary plugs in cars have allowed listeners to connect their smartphones to their car’s audio system. But this required a special cable and only avid listeners bothered to do this.
Internet connected cars finally offer the ease and convenience that is likely to siphon off radio listeners to the richer choice of content offered by internet sources.
What are Your Predictions?
- Do you think that internet connected cars will be the tipping point for radio?
- Do you think that radio as we know it will cease to exist?
Photo Credit: Rutger Prins