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Business News, Commentary, Departmental News

New Media Is Making FM Radio Endangered…….And That’s NOT A Bad Thing!


In the past few months, many of us couldn’t state the importance of new media, especially in the broadcasting and news industries.

One of those examples involves the publication Baseball Digest (and family of magazines). In a couple of years’ time, Baseball Digest has also expanded to regional-specific external websites like I-70 Baseball (which c0vers the Interstate 70 rivalry between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals) and more recently, Battle of Ohio Baseball (which covers the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds). This is a classic example of the further expansion in new media.

WWPM MediaNet follows under the same circumstances. It serves not only as a syndication source for other programs, but new and fresh content brings in listeners and also potential customers to your sponsors.

And now, you can find a Night Out Radio station for your local city. (Maybe not right away, but that city could come up soon!). There are stations in Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis and other areas where you can listen to music in any genre.

Terrestrial Radio Is Becoming An Endangered Broadcast Venue
One of the major critics of new media and Internet radio are the corporate influences that run 95% of all terrestrial AM/FM stations across North America. Many ownership corporations, like ClearChannel Communications, have been very critical of Internet radio because it “takes listeners away from AM/FM radio.”

The frontline of the Internet radio movement started with sites like Rhapsody, Last.fm and MOG, providing legal music for airing. Many of these mainstream sites were created with the intent to take out traditional radio. It’s not merely a coincidence because when MTV was launched in 1981, critics believed that it would kill the radio star. That wasn’t exactly true, was that?

Anywhere you go online, there’s an Internet radio station somewhere. As a matter of fact, there are projections, with the growth of new media and Internet radio skyrocketing so quickly, that the number of Internet radio stations and related new media sites could be twice as many as traditional terrestrial AM/FM stations.

So Does That Mean The End of AM/FM Radio?
Not necessarily. They are enticing listeners with HD Radio to allow radio stations to compete with the broadcast quality of satellite radio. However, that shouldn’t be the only thing they should be offering – but they have nothing else to offer at the moment.

Internet Radio Dominates The Market
Many broadcasters criticize Internet radio because they believe some nerd sits in front of his desk all day long playing music. But can you believe Internet radio has had enough impact that it’s taking complete control of the market?

So you wonder why. I’ll tell you what I mean:

  • Ford is offering Pandora Radio on their 2011 Fiesta and Mustang models via the Sync service, powered by Microsoft.
  • Coinciding with this offer, Pioneer and Alpine now offer speakers that can connect to the service, which creates custom stations based on the music you want to hear.
  • You can listen to Internet radio on the iPhone, Android and Blackberry, the three major companies in the smartphone industry.
  • Toyota will be offering the Pandora service in summer 2011 as part of the Entune in-dash system.
  • Other automakers like General Motors, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are working on similar offers which may start sometime later in the year leading to the 2012 models.

With this newfound access to quality Internet radio, will anyone listen to local AM/FM radio stations anymore. According to ClearChannel, owner of 750 AM and FM stations across the country, they believe so and they even have their own app (iheartradio) where you can listen to CCC stations from all over the country.

Even satellite radio can withstand this threat, like XM Sirius, the grand monopoly in satellite radio. They managed to finish out 2010 with a small profit, despite having at least 20 million customers who pay $12.95 or more a month for the service. Many of those customers have been enticed by broadcast veterans like Howard Stern, Oprah Winfrey and Opie & Anthony.

However, it still seems that Internet radio remains an option instead of a requirement.

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