Think mobile internet is the future for radio? Think again
Posted on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 at 10:44 pm. #
We’re the radio industry.
We’re in control of our transmitters. Our masts. Our towers. We own them.
Nothing gets in the way. We transmit our radio station on our transmitters and a receiver gets our signal. There’s nobody in the middle who can stop us: nobody who can make arbitrary decisions about who gets what.
That’s not the case on Sky. We are not in control. While we lease our little spot of satellite transponder, it’s up to Sky whether there’s an arbitrary space on the EPG, and how they list our station on it.
That’s not the case on internet radios. We are not in control. While we pump out our signal online, it’s up to radio listings companies (like vTuner, or PURE, or RadioTime) whether they list us, and how they list our station on their service.
That’s not the case on the web, in fact. We are not in control. Any ISP can block, or interfere with, our internet radio signal: or demand more money for a ‘better’ service. The minister in charge of the media, Ed Vaizey, is recommending a two-tier internet, “favouring broadcasters and other media companies who pay them extra for a faster service”.
And that’s certainly not the case on iPhones. We’re certainly not in control here. Today comes news that Apple are now rejecting single-station radio apps, likening them to spammy ‘fart’ apps. If you want your own simple radio app for your own radio station, it looks like you’re too late. (Or, as Trevor mentions in the comments, maybe you’re not: who knows.)
With broadcast, we own our transmitters, and nobody controls the EPGs, the ESGs, the listings or the apps that enable people to tune in.
If you genuinely think that the future of radio is on the internet, it’s time – once more – to think again. The future of radio is a multi-platform future: which means it’s easier to cope if one of the distribution methods we don’t control decides to change the rules on a whim from Steve Jobs or Rupert Murdoch.