Cut|Color|Post

excerpts, quips, and musings on the production and post-production industry, and other stuff of interest

We've Lost the Portability Battle, and Now We Have a Chance to Get it Back

In news where upper level executives still "don't get it", CEO Jeff Smulyan addressing the lack of carrier activation and support for FM chips in today's cell phones:

He also said listening over data is not a sustainable model in a world where data is increasingly metered. An FM chip uses no data, of course, so it is free to use and uses up battery life at only one-third the rate of streaming. Additionally 100 percent of radio's profit still comes from broadcasting over the air. "Every major company in this industry is supporting the FM chip initiative," he said, even while acknowledging that stations must stream.

Yes, the telecom world is increasingly ruled by data caps. But that is an argument of economics (how much the end-user pays), not necessarily convenience. As an avid music listener, I'm more concerned about getting what I want when I want it then I am over how much data I consume. Not to mention the annoying commercials, DJ's, and the same 40 songs looped in various order all day long. With more of the carriers moving towards a "bucket of data" approach I imagine many people (not all) fit their monthly data use into these buckets with relative ease, including music streaming.

I don't think terrestrial radio is going anywhere anytime soon. But unless they adopt to the tsunami of mobile users in a convenient way, I'm afraid they're looking at a serious decrease in revenue (from ads), and a loss of culture capital as the way to find/hear/explore music. In fact, it could be argued that both of those are already happening.