More and more automakers are incorporating Bluetooth technology into their entertainment systems. For those of us with smartphones (um, everyone you know?) this means instant access to millions of tunes via Pandora, Spotify, Slacker and every other Do-It-Yourself online radio service.
So AM and FM stations should be quaking in their boots, right?
Not yet. Two factors present huge barriers to these online services brining about the death of AM/FM on our nation’s highways.
The first is money. AT&T, Verizon and other mobile carriers are moving away from all-you-can-stream smartphone packages. They’re repackaging tier services with attractive new names, but the net effect is a data ceiling on how much you can stream before you start piling up access charges like a New York City taxi meter.
Streaming music services like Pandora can suck the life out of a monthly data plan. Patch your smartphone into your dash and you could be draining the tank before you even hit the second week of your monthly allotment. And once you get dinged for over-the-top charges, it’ll be pretty easy to reconnect with AM, FM, SiriusXM, your CD collection or the simple patch cord connecting your iPod to your dashboard.
Reason Number Two comes down to programming and the human factor. Sure, it’s cool to discover new tracks when Pandora’s Genome and rival intuitive tools serve up fresh tracks that appeal to your musical tastes. But that won’t replace the connection listeners make with real, live (even if they’re pre-recorded) announcers telling them what’s new, what’s hot and what’s happening.
Sure, radio will continue to spread its audience across several platforms, but those new paths to programming aren’t likely to replace the original delivery system that started all the fun a century ago.
Today, 93% of all Americans aged 12+ listen of AM/FM Radio each and every week. If it’s been awhile since you tapped into this powerful medium, call The Radio Agency to hear how to make this Sound Advertising medium work for you.
Mark Lipsky is the President and CEO of The Radio Agency. Please follow The Radio Agency’s Blog “Sounding Board” by subscribing to the email or RSS links above.Visit our website TheRadioAgency.com