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Another Buggy Whip Moment

August 20, 2010 16:32:43.775

It's another episode of "no one is entitled to a business model". The NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) wants to mandate FM receivers in all smartphones, probably due to the audience drop they're seeing. This is all part of the RIAA and NAB fighting over the remaining crumbs in the broadcast music business:

NAB, in an effort to expand radio audiences, has been seeking an FM receiver mandate for digital devices for several years. But the proposal doesn't make sense, with many smartphones able to stream music and other content from the Internet, including streams from commercial radio stations, said Jot Carpenter, CTIA's vice president for government affairs. Several mobile devices available in the U.S. have FM receivers, but they are not among the top-selling devices, he said.

When I'm listening to music, I tend to do one of three things:

  • Shuffle my entire music collection on my iPhone/Mac
  • Put on a Pandora station
  • Create a "Genius" playlist (like Pandora, but limited to my collection)

I haven't turned on the radio more than a handful of times in the last year, and those times happened because I forgot my phone. The sales numbers for devices that include radios show how much demand there is for that (virtually none).

Add to that another reality - many (most?) radio stations now stream live on the net. So I can already get radio stations over wifi or 3g if I want to. I don't want, or need, another radio draining battery in my iPhone, thanks.

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posted by James Robertson


Re: Another Buggy Whip Moment

[anonymous] August 20, 2010 20:42:49.520

Wait. They still *have* radio?


Maybe they can just give up the spectrum to more digital devices. That'd be cool!

Re: Another Buggy Whip Moment

[anonymous] August 20, 2010 21:43:00.737

I bought my daughter an mp3 player the other day -and went out of my way to find one that did NOT have an FM radio. Radio advertising is so appalling!

Re: Another Buggy Whip Moment

[Mike Bradshaw] August 22, 2010 5:08:55.619

there are two benefits to having an FM receiver;

- it uses hardly any battery (allowing you to still listen to music when the battery is low, 3G consumes a *TON* of battery)

- now that "unlimited" data plans are a thing of the past, you are not going to want to stream radio over 3G

The higher end Nokia devices (some other manufacturers as well?) also have FM *transmitters*, so you can listen to your music when in the car (works with all models that have an FM receiver)

Re: Another Buggy Whip Moment

[James Robertson] August 22, 2010 10:17:00.571

I stream Pandora over 3G all the time; the data usage levels are pretty miniscule. For the car, I have an FM transmitter that plugs into the car, so there's no battery usage at all for that - and my stereo (and most new ones, for that matter) has an auxiliary input anyway.

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