Terrestrial Radio Looks To Charge Subscription Fees, But Still Doesn't Compete With Satellite

from the blah-blah-blah dept

While terrestrial radio broadcasters keep insisting that satellite radio is no competition for them, their actions continue to betray that fallacious argument. But in addition to all the doublespeak, terrestrial broadcasters are also trying to figure out how they can start charging for their content — a move that would only underline the fact that they do indeed compete with satellite radio providers. iBiquity, the company that develops the HD Radio digital radio technology for terrestrial broadcasters, says it’s chosen a provider of “conditional access” technology, which will give broadcasters the ability to charge subscription fees for their content, offer pay-per-listen events, or additional subscription-based services. The fact that terrestrial broadcasters want to start charging for content (apart from sounding like a really bad idea) would seem to further undermine the NAB’s claim that they don’t compete with XM and Sirius. Of course, perhaps you could argue that if terrestrial broadcasters tried to make people pay for the stuff they broadcast, it really wouldn’t be much competition for the satellite companies, but somehow we don’t think that’s the point the NAB is trying to make.

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Comments on “Terrestrial Radio Looks To Charge Subscription Fees, But Still Doesn't Compete With Satellite”

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Dave M says:

Terrestrial pay service already exists for FM

“terrestrial broadcasters are also trying to figure out how they can start charging for their content “

Terrestrial FM broadcasters have been doing just that for years: SCA (Subsidiary Communications Authorization) broadcasts of background music, data (stockquotes, sports scores, etc.), reading services for the visually impaired, and more. It takes special receivers to receive the subcarrier signals, and it’s “illegal” to receive and enjoy the signals without paying/permission.

Mr. Lucas Brice says:

Bad Idea

If they want to charge me to listen to the flippin’ radio, which is about 20 minutes of commercials out of every hour, I’ll take my radio and fling it down the stairs. Then I’ll stomp on it until it’s just bits of plastic and wires. Then I’ll sweep up the pieces and flush them down the loo.

Next, I’ll buy a parrot and teach it to talk and sing and I’ll put a little handle on him so I can carry him around with me and listen to him at work and in the car.

MrStipulation says:


I used to have satellite radio but dropped it because the only time I listened was in the car between home and work (about 15-20 min drive), and the price did not agree with the time I listened to it.

If they offered alacarte programming where I could get just a few channels that I was interested in at a discounted price I would get it again.

As for terrestrial radio. There would have to be major changes before I considered paying for their content. For starters, kill the RIAA-selected playlists. They SUCK. Period. Also, NO to VERY FEW commercials. I would not pay extra to get radio with a million and one ads.

Fred Flint says:

This reminds me of the birth of cable TV. I’m sure there must be a few people around who remember the early days when the local Cable Telco convinced us to pay for their service because it was commercial free!

Well, that didn’t last long. Now we’re still paying more and more and more for Cable TV and at the same time we get to spend most of our time watching commercials.

Paying to be inundated with commercials! What a concept! Now we’ll get to do it via radio.

Kyle Johnson says:

Public Airwaves?

How can radio charge for content when they are using the PUBLIC airwaves to transmit? The FCC licenses grant them access to the PUBLIC airwaves, not ownership of them.

Not that I really care that much. I listed to about 30 minutes of radio a day (in the morning as my alarm), and I could even do without that if they want to charge me for it.

John (user link) says:

Big stations don't need this

and small ones will only die off. Lets get serious, KFYI in Phoenix rakes in the bg bucks in advirtising because they give a product people want, Big name shows and great local coverage. Why would they piss off 4 million current and potential listeners just to lock up their product. Little stations with poor advertising streams will only disappear, they don’t have the money to advertise a subscription based service, and if I don’t listen to them now and if they lock up their product there is little chance I will stumble on them while spinning the dial.

To me the only real reason I had satellite radio was for spatial coverage and consistency of the shows over that coverage. Note I said had, there were to many little things that pissed me off, static from the little fm transmitter, losses of signal in the trees and there insistence on taking the good programing like the Oldies radio and putting $%#^ sports games on there with no warning!

Hey Sirius if I want to listen to ESPN I would change the channel!

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