Programming    Future of Broadcasting is ..... the Internet??

 1/6/10 Pandora, Pioneer Bring Internet Radio To Cars Thanks to a partnership between Internet radio service Pandora and electronics maker Pioneer, iPhone users will soon be able to hear Pandora radio stations in their cars. Starting in March, Pioneer will sell a navigation and entertainment device that allows Pandora users who stream the service on their iPhones to access Pandora in their cars, reports the Wall Street Journal. The $1,200 navigation system, announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, will detect iPhones and iPod touches that have Pandora installed and put those Pandora settings on the navigation screen, allowing drivers to easily hear their favorite channels.

Ted Cardenas, Director of Marketing for Pioneer, told the WSJ that he saw the deal as an opportunity to reach many of Pandora's 42 million users. "This gives us the ability to talk to an entirely new group of consumers," he said in an interview. Meanwhile, Pandora executives hope the technology will help expand the way people think of its service. "Maybe a year ago people would have said Pandora is a computer thing," said co-founder Tim Westergren. Now, "they're beginning to realize that Internet radio is an anytime, anywhere thing."
--- On Tue, 1/5/10, James W Anderson <> wrote:

I had mentioned in some of the discussions about the changes in the media industry, that Google was going to unveil a smartphone that would be able to be used with any carrier.  In other words, you would buy the phone, then buy the wireless plan separately, rather than have to buy a phone from a carrier and the plan with it.

There's more to the story than just that.  This story in the NY Times tells more details.  There will be more stories today and blog posts, etc., about this as the day goes on. 

In the end, the web server is going to be the new radio 'transmitter' and smartphones and wifi devices and other things will be the new 'radios' of the future, we're already seeing it in small ways.  Forget about Grade A or Grade B coverage, station coverage and listener footrints will be wherever one can get a signal from a cell tower or wifi hotspot.  

The really big question isn't how to implement Internet radio into cars and other places.  That is already being done and will get better as technology evolves.

The real question is how to make any money out of doing it.  Unless you are philanthropic, or simply have an agenda you wish to distribute, most broadcasters will need to see a return on investment.  Even noncommercial broadcasters have expenses and somebody has to pay for those.

I think we've been streaming for about five year or so. The income from it has been hardly worth mentioning, even though we have a reasonable on-line listenership.  Your local sponsors aren't going to be very impressed if somebody half way across the country is listening.  Those listeners are unlikely to patronize the local merchant. 

I'm not going to say that you can't generate income from web streaming, but it is a very different proposition from the usual LPFM model. I sometimes wonder why we bother.  The only real reason I can use to justify the expense is that some local listeners really do tune in at work on their computers.  I have no idea how many that really is, but let's optimistically say it is 50% of our on-line listeners.  Divide that number into whatever your total cost for streaming is per month, and you'll get a cost per listener.  Will your sponsors pay that much per listener to justify the expense?  I doubt it.

Of course, there are other reasons for doing it.  I'm sure ego and my own personal convenience enter into the equation for me, but sometimes you have to realize that it is an expensive hobby.  Hopefully, it has some return in the future, although it may not be a pay out in dollars and cents. 
Chuck Conrad, KZQX Radio

have been looking at something like this: 
But have a feeling I should wait until Time-Warner installs WiMax 4G here.

Dewberry DJCR - AM1670 Dewberry Jam Community Radio San Antonio, Texas

 I think we need to look at this question holistically rather than as a series of separate pieces.  It's not a problem of broadcast spectrum going away, leaving mainstream broadcast with nowhere to go.  It's a matter of mainstream broadcasting abandoning its "over the air" spectrum and going to other distribution media.  They are moving there because it's where their audience is going.  You have to remember that broadcasters are in the advertising business, and they use the over-the-air technology to reach the audience.  They don't use it for its own sake.
We're only talking about technology here.  One-to-many broadcasting is not an efficient use of spectrum.  The multiplexing techniques used in cell phones already demonstrate how much more information you can pack into less spectrum using more sophisticated modulation systems.  Why not utilize it?

As the posts about Ford and iPhones have mentioned, alternate distribution technology is already reaching cars.  This reminds me of when FM gained broad adoption.  People didn't stop putting AM radios in cars, they added FM too.  Internet to cars will be added o nto existing receivers, and then if all the programming migrates from today's broadcast to new technology, then it might actually make sense to redeploy the bandwidth currently consumed by less efficient technology.

This is not going to happen tomorrow.  Look at how long the DTV transition took from announcement to deployment, and no "aural service" transition has even been proposed, much less adopted.  More likely it will follow a market-driven paradigm shift which will include wifi service as ubiquitous as cell phone coverage, paid for by advertising content or some sort of low-cost subscription fee such as the British TV license, reaching devices like smartphones and laptops that people already have.  And if your license isn't good on your car radio, then you'll be able to plug your wifi device into your car like you can already plug in an iPod.

If I were going to worry about this, I'd worry about streaming today and watch the technology evolve.  Someone posted the fact that most office workers don't have radios on their desktops anymore, and that's true.  It reminds me of a boarding school radio station I helped build once, where the school administration had discovered that it put a big load on their IT resources because everyone listened to the stream rather than the broadcast in their dorms.  In the long run, we will all probably be able to retire our transmitters, free ourselves of the FCC rules and restrictions, sell advertising and reach more people.  My two cents.  Your mileage may vary.

John Robinson


Question: where can I learn more about FCC obscenity regulations and what should a station do to prevent independent program producers from violating these rules?
Nick Ring, LPFM Operator

Answer: Go to the FCC website covering these rules.  Review pre-produced programs before accepting them.  Only allowed people you trust to air live.  Don't air call-in conversations from the public without a "seven-second tape delay system."  One vulgar word by a malicious caller could create very serious problems for you.

Question: Can two differently licensed local LPFM's simulucast the same "locally originated" programming 24/7? Can they air dual IDs?  Randy Bennett, WCEE-LP, Melbourne, FL
Answer: There are no rules against an LPFM relaying another LPFM station but not full power broadcast stations, domestic or foreign, and not TV audio either. Dual IDs should not be an issue during the time the stations are simulcasting.  See §73.879] Rich Eyre,

Question: Can a LPFM enter into an agreement to share local programming since various LPFM stations affiliate with same Christian satellite network? Randy Bennett, WCEE-LP, Melbourne, FL

  "No LPFM licensee may enter into an operating agreement of any type, including a time brokerage or management agreement, with either a full power broadcast station or another LPFM station."  See §73.860(c) Rich Eyre,

Answer: There is an important difference between (1) affiliating with a satellite or internet which network is legal, and (2) entering into an LMA (local management agreement) with another broadcaster.  In the first case total control is being maintained by the LPFM licensee and in the second case this authority is being delegated to someone else.
John Broomall, CCB 

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