When it comes to traditional radio and its treatment of its real estate on the AM/FM dial, I've definitely made my opinion known in recent months. It's boring, redundant, and rife with ads, and I've ranted that it's been facing disruptive technologies that could very well leave it in the dust. However, recent news reports show that Clear Channel
Some already know that I've been in a tiz recently over the state of terrestrial radio, theorizing over its mediocrity or its possible rejuvenation in the form of Internet streaming radio like that offered in deals between media companies and, say, Time Warner's
Meanwhile, of course, XM Satellite Radio
And some including myself have argued that it's no wonder, given the lack of choice and constant advertising on terrestrial radio. If you're looking for ominous signs, Viacom
It's not just satellite radio, though, that's causing the trouble -- it's also hot new devices like Apple's
Podcasting involves creating audio files that Web surfers can download onto their computers and then play back using their iPods and other musical devices. Clear Channel will allow users to download talk radio from its shows for later playback. It will also provide exclusive live performances from artists. This initiative will start by May. But not long ago, we reported right here that Clear Channel planned high-definition radio, which would allow users to tailor their radio listening a la the Internet.
Such innovations from Clear Channel are a welcome departure from yesterday's radio. Terrestrial radio concerns need to continue to figure out ways in which technology can help them -- as a Wall Street Journal article said today -- resonate better with both listeners and advertisers.
Given the current industry climate in which disruption has become a rule, radio-related companies that innovate and drive forward instead of looking back may very well start pushing back hard at their upstart rivals.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.