In "The Bedroom Project," we identified CVC - or control-variety-choice as major attributes that separate desirable media devices and technologies (iPods, for example) from those that lack many of these same qualities. Radio - as it exists for most consumers today - often fails the CVC test.
And as we also saw in "Bedroom," music is rapidly becoming a commodity. Consumers have many different ways to control and arrange music. Thus, for younger people, in particular, listening to it on the radio has become tertiary to their overall entertainment experience.
And as technology marches on, radio's ability to remain dominant will be seriously threatened. A case in point is a new offering from TiVo. They are pitching a free 30-day trial where TiVo owners can tie into Rhapsody to control 4,000,000+ songs in any way they want to hear them. It's like having an iPod at home that is virtually loaded with a massive library, all accessible with a TiVo remote. As we saw in "Bedroom," radio is already under siege in homes, and these types of CVC advances will only make the situation more challenging.
Tomorrow: another new CVC innovation - for your car.