"We will strive to ensure that radio is on new, emerging technologies. It's our job to make sure broadcast signals are available on every gadget, everywhere."
--David Rehr, NAB President/CEO
- Radio in the home has become tertiary to the array of other gadgets and media, from computers to video games to good old television.
- On the street, radio has all but lost the battle to iPods (and mobile phones). The only people walking around with Sony Walkmans are radio programmers.
- In cars, radio still rules, but iPod connectivity will challenge its dominance. And the automakers are quickly making it possible for most new car buyers to plug their mp3 players into their vehicles' sound systems.
Second, XM has announced a new initiative that should be a wake-up call for broadcast radio. New CEO Nate Davis tells you all you need to know about where they're headed, merger or not: "Our strategy will be that we need to partner with more people (such as) portable navigation devices and cell phone providers."
AM/FM stations need to become the "radio" that is featured in mobile phones - period. This isn't just a good idea, it is paramount to our industry's ability to have a seat at the new media table. If radio isn't a dominant feature in cell phones (and are there really stations that still aren't streaming?) moving forward, the portability battle is game-set-match over.
You may not agree with every aspect of "Radio 2020," but in this area, Rehr's concern about radio's "locations" moving forward is dead on the money.