Digital Technology Brings A Radio Revolution

from the is-that-so? dept

I’m a little wary of news articles that read like press releases about a new technology, but this article about digital radio does serve to reinforce my belief that satellite radio is going to have a tough time surviving. Despite recent reports that GM is going to install satellite radio in many of their cars next year, I’m still wondering how big the market really is for satellite radio. Digital radio adds better sound quality to regular radio and (most importantly) doesn’t make the users pay any subscription fees. While I know some people like the wider variety of choices they get with satellite radio (and, in some cases, the lack of commercials), I still see radio as something you do to pass the time while driving (or in the background while doing something else) – unlike TV which is an entertainment medium that people plan around. I’m just not convinced that enough people will see the value in satellite radio to cover the millions of dollars those companies need to stay in business. Digital radio, on the other hand doesn’t put any of the costs on the listener (other than to buy the radio). It’s all on the radio stations themselves, who do it to offer their listeners more features. The article also mentions that the next generation of digital radios will offer time-shifting ability, as well, meaning that you can listen to your favorite radio program no matter when you’re driving to work. That seems like a worthwhile feature.

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