RAIN 7/15: Experts debate whether iPhone is the future, or the end of radio
WILL iPHONE’S WEBCAST CAPABILITIES CHALLENGE OR ENHANCE RADIO?: Internet radio applications were amongst the most popular of the 10 million iPhone programs downloaded over the weekend, prompting observers to debate whether the webcast-receiving iPhones foretell the death of broadcast radio, or rather usher it into a new era. Entertainment journalist Jeff Jarvis, after testing out his new Pandora-enabled iPhone, declares (here) “that radio is doomed…Pandora is a wonder, creating my own radio station, live and on the fly without need for a broadcast tower.” Mark Hopkins in a post at Mashable (here) agrees, though he argues that costs must be lowered before iPhone-like devices become a viable competitor to traditional radio receivers. However, David Martin says (here) broadcast radio will not fall to the iPhone’s mobile Internet radio, rather benefit from it. He points out that users listening to AOL Radio (at one point the 7th most frequently downloaded iPhone application) “are enjoying broadcast radio content on another platform. This marks not the end of broadcast but a beginning, access of broadcast content via another media.” Mark Ramsey weighs in on the matter as well (here), arguing that even though users can tune into any broadcast radio station worldwide, they will probably not tune into those stations more than once, staying rather with their local stations—which they can already get on their regular radio receivers. “If we’re going to be presenting content online, we need to present that which listeners can’t get elsewhere, including our own air…We need to present content that is original to the web, not simply a repurpose of our terrestrial stations.”
MORE RADIO APPS, BROADCASTERS CLAIM SPACE ON THE iPHONE: Yet another Internet radio application is available for the iPhone: VisuaMobile’s allRadio, a station aggregator which also displays if you are using WiFi or the Edge network and at what bit-rate. The application boasts more than 2000 stations from over 10 countries sorted by genre. allRadio costs $3.99 from the Apple App Store. Additionally, Greater Media announced (here) its New Jersey, Charlotte, and Detroit radio stations are streaming via the iPhone. Not a stand-alone application, Greater Media streams are accessed through the iPhone’s Safari web browser. Pandora, Virgin Radio, AOL Radio, and Last.fm also have iPhone applications (RAIN coverage here and here).
ARTISTS SHOULD SUPPORT SAT MERGER BECAUSE OF PERFORMANCE ROYALTIES, SAYS DEPARTING XM EXEC: Pointing out that satellite radio is the “largest single contributor of performance royalties,” XM executive vice president for programming Eric Logan reasons artists should support the merger between XM and Sirius. A merger would result in more programming as well as lower prices, says Logan, and more programming means more music played—especially for niche genres like country, which he claims are receiving less playtime on broadcast radio. “The merger of the two companies is necessary if satellite radio is to continue as a vital outlet…A healthy satellite industry will continue paying artists and labels millions in performance royalties while promoting their music nationwide.” Read his full article here.
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