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RAIN 11/04: New deal for in-car mobile Wi-Fi; Online may help HD2's gain traction

Posted on: 11/04/2008


The partnership agreement between Delphi Corporation and Autonet Mobile could potentially unlock new doors for Internet radio. The agreement calls for the companies to create Internet-connectivity devices as standard equipment for new vehicles. The companies are currently field-testing a patent-pending technology, which creates a secure, mobile wi-fi hotspot within a moving vehicle.

While Autonet Mobile currently offers a version of their wi-fi device as an accessory on Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge models, the partnership with Delphi could help to bring the technology further into the mainstream. If adopted by car-makers as standard equipment, continuous, mobile high-speed Internet access could provide Internet radio with opportunities to increase their audience and listener loyalty. It could also provide a genuine threat to over-the-air radio, which covets the confines of the car as one of its last strongholds. (For the press release click here.) (by Randy Kohl for RAIN)


The Wall Street Journal’s Sarah McBride writes today that “four years after the first HD radios hit the marketplace, the new service hasn’t gained traction with consumers.” However, a possible “silver lining” is the headway several HD-2 stations are making online. As examples, she points to WRIF-FM/Detroit’s “Riff 2,” which mixes rap and rock to create programming unavailable on any single AM or FM station; or KBCO-FM/Denver’s “Studio C,” a showcase of in-studio performances from artists visiting the station. Here’s a link to McBride’s Wall Street Journal story.

RAIN ANALYSIS: Then again… McBride says Riff 2 got 6,000 “tune-in’s” in September. Kurt points out that if we liberally suppose a hypothetical average duration of 90 minutes per listening session, that’s an AQH of 15 listeners! In other words, at the average moment in September, 15 people were tuned in to Riff 2. That won’t sell many radios.


Interesting what some media outlets — and not only radio — are doing with web streaming. Tom Taylor reports that all-news KYW-AM/Philadelphia has launched “SantaTrax,” a Christmas music stream. VP/GM David Yadgaroff says “SantaTrax makes perfect sense in this era of rapid digital growth.” Meanwhile, the Florida Times-Union’s website, Jacksonville.com, now sports three commercial-free music channels: “Refresh,” (adult contemporary), “JaxCountry,” and “Doc’s Place” (urban AC). Read Taylor on Radio-Info here.

Perhaps this is what Mark Ramsey is referring to when he writes, “We are fast entering a time when ‘radio’ will become a feature of other things rather than simply a destination unto itself.” In his Hear 2.0 blog (here), he continues, “You’ll see brands which have no roots in radio adding a ‘radio’ component in order to enrich the brand and deepen the engagement of the brand’s fans. And I don’t simply mean adding a streaming audio iPhone app to a phone.” Obviously, KYW is a radio station, but music is not traditionally part of its brand, so perhaps Ramsey’s point applies here as well.


This election not only will have a major impact on domestic, economic and foreign policy issues, but will surely shape the future of U.S. technology development.

TechRepublic took a look at each candidate to see which would be better for the future of technology. Their verdict: Barack Obama. He would institute a Chief Technology Officer (CTO), has stated he would institute technology in government like he did in his campaign, and perhaps most importantly has an interest and an understanding of technology. Read the full article here.

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  1. Re: HD. Yes, the AQH is terrible, but that’s using Radio’s 50-year audience measurement model and the super-niche value of an HD channel won’t be measured by market competition. Besides, it’s a GREAT start – somebody in terrestrial radio doing R&D. Finally, the world is going Digital and we’re still analog. Let’s not miss this one too.

    Jim Taszarek · May 19, 07:21 AM · #

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