Old Media. New Tricks.

Could the iPhone be Radio’s Saviour?

Posted on: July 17, 2008

There are no radio tuners built in to the iPod. If you want to listen to the radio with your iPod, you have to buy bulky adapter that will let you crank out the hits from your local flame throwing CHR.

Many other mobile media devices, like those from Creative, do have built in tuners, but the market leaders from Apple don’t.

That’s bad news for radio. If the device youth are using most doesnt even an opportunity to choose radio, how are they going to be familiar and comfortable with the medium. iPods not only let them create their own radio stations via playlists, the device itself eliminates real radio from the equation.

But now, with the release of the SDK for the iPhone, radio has a chance. Apps are being created for the platform that actually let people listen to the radio on an iPhone or iPod Touch.

CBS was first to release a free application in the iTunes App Store.

“AOL Radio “Powered by CBS Radio” allows you to listen to more than 150 CBS music, news, talk and sports stations across the United States, as well as customized stations created specifically for online listening. By default, it uses the iPhone or iPod Touch’s location awareness capabilities to play stations in your area, but you can also use it for out-of-town stations. [CBS News]

Kurt Hanson looks at the apps a little skeptically, calling them the “canary in the coal mine.” Jeff Jarvis shares the fear and sees the Pandora app as a potential radio killer

“My most striking realization since getting my iPhone (love it, thanks for asking) is that radio is doomed. Pandora is a wonder, creating my own radio station, live and on the fly without need for a broadcast tower. CBS is streaming all its stations over the cell network but when I told my wife this she kept asking, “Why would I want to listen to a CBS station?” That’s not the point, I huffed; we don’t need broadcast towers..[Buzz Machine]

But we’re being given a chance. If national radio companies create an app and put it on the iPhone, they’re giving themselves a chance. Sitting on the sidelines an doing nothing continues the trend towards mobile devices that exist in a world where radio does not.

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1 Response to "Could the iPhone be Radio’s Saviour?"

[…] Could the iPhone be Radio’s Saviour? […]

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