Chips Ahoy!

by Dominick Milano, COO, Streaming Division

As a person who works in the streaming business you might assume that I am against having an FM chip activated in a cell phone.  If so, your assumption would be wrong.  Go ahead, let’s do it.  It would finally end the debate about it once and for all.

Radio is in fact already ubiquitous.  I spent the better part of 20 years making that point.  The medium simply does not have a distribution problem.  So if the chip is activated how much difference would it actually make?  More importantly, would it stop consumers from doing what they already do with their smartphones – engage and interact?  Here your assumption on my answer would be correct – it would not change consumer behavior in any significant way.

The likes of Pandora, iHeartRadio, Slacker, and TuneIn have gained traction on mobile devices because of the experience they create for the consumer.  It goes beyond the audio.  It is in fact visual, social, and interactive.

Interestingly, there has been a lot of discussion lately about the viability of HD Radio.  Much of the commentary has revolved around the same theme.  It’s about the content and the consumer experience more than it is the form of distribution.

Final question.  Is IP based audio the best platform from which to build unique and compelling content and experiences?  If you assume you know my answer, you are probably right.