The Internet continues to totally change our realities. Products that used to be staples in the home or at work - like your travel agent, the fax machine, and the pager - are all rapidly being replaced by better, faster, and more efficient digital innovations.
There is a new item to add to the endangered species list - the once ubiquitous nightstand clock radio.
In radio, we counted on this venerable device to help consumers start their day on the right note - listening to our morning show. Well, at the NAB "Radio Show" last month, my room at the Marriott (yes, the convention hotel) didn't have a clock - or a radio.
And as we've seen in our Tech Polls each year, more and more consumers are waking up to their mobile phones - not a clock radio.
And it's not just kids using the bells and tones on their iPhones, BlackBerries, and other devices - it's mature adults. Our newest survey for public radio - PRTS2 - illustrates the trend clearly:
So you can only imagine what's happening among 18-34 year-olds and their wake-up patterns. How does this affect your station, your morning show, and the ways in which consumers start their days? And what are the implications moving forward?
To get an even better understanding of how mobile is changing bedroom habits, consider that nearly half of all Americans say they sleep with their phones, according to a survey by Synovate. That's an incredible piece of data, and it shows the growing connection between consumers and their mobile gadgets.
While many of us are focused on consumers being able to connect their iPods in cars, the day starts in the bedroom - a place where radio used to rule the roost.
So how can radio fight this growing trend? Well, it may not be a perfect solution, but our jacAPPS division has developed an alarm clock feature for our radio apps. You set the alarm time on the device, but instead of digital bells and bongs, you wake up to Bob & Brian, Drew & Mike, or Morning Edition, depending on which app you prefer.
Of course, this feature needs to be marketed on the air, but that's our burden and challenge - teach consumers how to use radio via new gadgets and devices. We have the brands, but unless we become more aware of changing consumer habits and we keep developing access to new platforms, radio will go the way of the Yellow Pages.