Radio is a technology that since the advent of television, has had to compete in people’s homes as the medium of choice. The advantages of radio over television is that it requires not as much attention from the listener. That is not to say that radio is a less-engaging medium. Even in today’s world of interactive television phoneins, radio still has a much better audience participation, allowing listeners to directly feed into the broadcasts. Radio is popular when people are multitasking, for example on the factory floor. By far the most popular use of radio today is when people are on the road. Car radio is a massive market and our roads are full of radio listeners. Hop into your car and tuning in to radio is as much a priority as putting the keys in the ignition. New developers have seized the opportunity to take control of the car radio market share and reinvent the way we listen. New technologies are fresh on the market allowing car radio users to tune into the World Wide Web for internet radio broadcasts. The diversity of choice is incredible and there are no broadcast limits to internet radio ranges. The motorways will be full of people tapping into stations from across the world. It is an exciting time for car radio listeners.
The first company to introduce the new technology was Blaupunkt. Driven by Miroamer roaming software, Blaupunkt internet radio sytems allow the permanent installation of a web car radio, eliminating the need for fiddly plug and play systems that may have previously existed. A car user wants to just hop in and drive off, not spend ages configuring his wireless laptop or Bluetooth, in order to tunein to radio. The product showcased at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. In addition to allowing the user to tunein to the 10s of 1000s of internet radio stations currently available, the technology presents users with the facility to still also use FM and AM transmissions. The Miroamer technology involved accesses the internet via standing mobile internet connections. It is initially available to consumers on a monthly subscription basis at a price of around $30-$40 a month. Obviously there may be some problems with the access to mobile connections as the signal isn’t constant but as time progresses the growth of mobile internet should ensure a constant signal, in a similar vein to the development of mobile phone signals.
Other companies are clambering aboard and perhaps the most exciting announcement has come from massive American car manufacturer, Chrysler, who say that internet radio facilities will be factory installed as standard in all their 2009 models. Other notable audio companies getting involved include high quality Swedish manufacturers Bang & Olafsen. The price of radios themselves are entering the market in direct competition with standard terrestrial car radios, from $150. In addition to standalone car web radio players, the domestic market is also seeing the emergence of new internet home entertainment systems. As the internet radio breaks free from the PC, there will be a massive rise in listeners of web radio. There will be a need for high quality broadcasts to compete for the new consumers’ attention. We hope that at KryKey we can provide you with the broadcast capability necessary to enter the web radio world. We endeavour to join you on the global highways and country roads as communication routes converge and the information super highway becomes part of the road travel network.