As traditional radio faces a potential major issue with new Internet streaming royalty rates, the industry should do its best to fight the good fight because there are new companies launching business models every day, it seems, that will help traditional radio get technologically cool.
I'm referring, of course, to some of the new portable digital radio businesses that allow consumers to use their cell phones for more than just phone calls and email. Audio entertainment is rushing headlong to your hand-held phone devices and traditional radio as well as the consumer is the beneficiary.
Imagine being able to stream a customized radio station you create right to your cell phone and listen on high-quality ear plugs or headphones. I've tried it and you'd be amazed at how good it sounds. Now there is an option for consumers who love their MP3 players while jogging, for example, but want a different blend of music or, based on what you program, a completely new vehicle for music discovery, one of traditional radio's new-found strengths.
Imagine being able to time-shift your favorite air personality! I can't count the number of times I've been driving to an early morning appointment only to arrive at my destination right in the middle of a great talk radio segment or a funny-as-heck bit on the Kevin & Bean show on LA's KROQ! I'd love to sit in the car and listen through, but just can't. So, just like a TIVO device for radio, I can go back to that show later and pick up where I left off! Ain't technology grand? We certainly do live in an amazing time.
And there are more applications being introduced all the time. The key here is that traditional radio, even with all the recent woes that seem to crop up in misguided newspaper articles, is being served a glorious plethora of opportunities that can extend its life - even enhance its reach - and make it cool again. Just what the doctor ordered.
If you're running a radio group or know someone who is, make sure you're aware of all the ala carte opportunities that are being placed before you. Don't hesitate. Get on track to adopt these new technologies and take advantage of the genius that is out there thinking faster and smarter than you are.
After all, you never know what they'll think of next and you want to be out in front of it - whatever it is!