Internet Radio – The future?

Radio was a communication technology that completely changed the world during the twentieth century. Before the age of television, radio was the most popular entertainment medium. Where would the Rock n’ Roll revolution of the Sixties be without the dedicated broadcast channels streaming the new sounds to bedrooms across the globe? The age of television saw a decline in radio’s impact, though the market for radio continued to grow. People listened in cars, on the hop, portable devices emerged too. The advantage of radio over television meant that the same levels of user concentration weren’t required. Radio can be background as well as thoroughly engaging. To many people radio provides the backdrop to their day’s work in factories or offices. One of the most important aspects of radio is the interactivity between programmers and their audiences. Phone in shows and audience feedback is significantly greater for radio than its televised cousin. To me one of the greatest inventions of the twentieth century was the clockwork battery-less radio which was cheaply and widely distributed throughout Africa and the developing world, providing maybe the first link to the outside world in many areas.

What has changed today? Satellite TV is rampant and viewers across the world have the widest selection ever available. Radio is still a huge draw though and in the internet communications era, our listening habits are changing yet again. Podcasting is a term that has entered the glossary and these subscription downloads are basically prerecorded radio shows. MP3 players such as the Apple Ipod have increased the use of portable audio devices to levels previously never imagined. Podcasts are easy to distribute and are a growing broadcast medium but the appeal of live radio still seperates podcasts from its transistor sister. Radio services on Real player, Windows Media Player and other media player devices have been available but in general have been still run by corporations with studios and massive finance. There is a gap in the market for proper home broadcasting, done live, and directly competing with traditional radio, just without all the massive startup and maintenance costs. This is where the new KryKey service enters the market. is a convenient easy to use service which sets up the simple home broadcaster with realtime radio potential. The user can create their own radio station and broadcast direct from their own home with little more than a miked up laptop and their internet connection. The next question arises – how can internet radio seize the market of traditional broadcast radio and will it make it obsolete?
The world of radio has recently experienced a massive revolution with the advent of DAB (Digital) services. The new dawn is fast approaching however and portable devices such as ipods and phones, car radios and home entertainment systems are emerging on the market offering internet radio listening capability. FM and AM waves with their limited range and even the new DAB radios are a thing of the past in today’s global internet environment. Soon, people will be able to truly have a global entertainment experience wherever they are in the globe. Eskimos will be tuning into Australian rock stations, and China will be dancing to the beats of the Caribbean. A few years ago the Rolling Stones performed the first live internet concert. Internet radio will completely reshape the entire broadcast landscape. The market will be flooded with new DJs and bands at a scale that the Sixties rockers never had. Web radio is the largest growing internet trend and recent technology shows in Las Vegas and San Francisco were awash with new tech gadgets awaiting the biggest broadcast revolution ever seen. We live in exciting times and web radio is about to explode. If you are a potential broadcaster, now is the time to take a dip in the waters of life…