Even my sixteen year old daughter immediately reaches for the car radio – albeit on short trips with me. I have not discounted that it may be due to a lack of desire or interest in having an actual conversation with me. And on longer trips she’s quick to fire up the I-pod while she sends text messages seemingly at a never ending pace. But on shorter trips she always turns on the radio to hear what might be playing.
Maybe people enjoy the random nature of terrestrial radio – what might be on versus having your choice of all your IPod loaded songs. On terrestrial radio many people enjoy hearing the local feed of your favorite sports team, local news (or sort of local since if you live in the New York City area there is hardly ever any real local news about my small Connecticut town on the radio. Or you have multiple choices of opinion makers telling you what to think. So the choices are limited in quantity and quality, and service is limited geographically (cannot listen to WCBS in Kansas City now can you?)
I’ve previously blogged about satellite radio to which I do not subscribe. I had occasion last week to rent a car that was loaded with XM/Sirius. The interface is not all that great and you have to step through the stations one by one. Strange thing about satellite radio is that sort of like the 100+ channels I get on cable – there was very little I was interested in listening to. And I had a 90 minute ride more than once! And there are ads on satellite radio. Not as many as on terrestrial radio (which can have a constant string of ads) but there are shows like Howard Stern and Mad Dog unleashed that have commercials.
At $ 12.95/month I don’t spend enough time (thankfully) in the car to even consider satellite radio. But even if I did the value proposition has yet to be made evident to me.
Better interface, better user tools, more content (maybe magazines and newspapers could be subscribed to where you could have articles of interest read to you on command?), options for ads and no ads.
Finally – we have a station in the NYC area WINS news 1010 AM. It has been around for almost 45 years with its all-news-all-the-time format. For some reason, WINS continues to use the sound of teletype or typewriters in the background. My guess is they want to give the impression that news is coming in constantly. I don’t believe there are many people using teletype or typewriters at WINS. At least I sure hope not.