Friday, April 22, 2011

Broadcast radio and smart phones

It has been a while since I have charged off after the keepers of the keys to America's over-the-air radio broadcasting facilities and their obvious inability to comprehend what consumers want.  Now, in a new demonstration of dunder-headedness, the group's lobbying and membership organization, the National Association of Broadcasters, has launched a really silly campaign to try to convince common folks to lobby Congress to require phone manufacturers to include radio reception "chips" in all phones sold in this country.

Never mind that there is no pent up demand for radio on cell phones.  Those who want it typically already have the ability to access more radio streams than anyone could imagine or ever possibly use.  Nor is there any indication that people even care.  But get ready.  Soon you will be hearing commercials...amid all the other many, many commercials...on your favorite radio station urging you to pick up the phone and call your rep in Washington and lobby for this redundant capability.  In typical fashion, all radio broadcasters understand is "run some commercials" and put up a web site that meets no real perceived need.

Why?  Because radio broadcasters simply don't understand.  If they would put the time, effort, and money into providing compelling content and somethign worth listening for, and if they would provide that content in a variety of ways that people expect to be able to access it, then they just might be able to salvage what was once a powerful, dynamic, ubiquitous medium.

See more at my friend Mark Ramsey's blog HERE.  Or, if you want a laugh and a prime demonstration of self-massage, visit the NAB web site devoted to this really goofy campaign HERE.

When I talk about the inability of some to comprehend technological change and adapt their industries to that change, I can't help but point at radio broadcasters.  How ironic that folks who have those towers pointed high into the sky also have their heads so deeply buried in the sand!

Don Keith


Mr. Nashville said...

I think requiring phones to have a radio chip is a dumb idea. It's an option and up to the manufacturer to decide.

Anonymous said...

Of course it is. If there was demand, manufacturers would be knocking each other out of the way to offer it on their devices.

Thanks for stopping by, Mr. Nashville!