Thursday, January 8, 2009

Game changer : First in-car internet radio is being launched this year

The King has left the building a while ago. And, here in Vegas at the anuual Consumer Electronics Show, on Elvis' birthday, it's becoming pretty obvious that terrestrial and satellite radio in its current form may not be that far behind.

Car radio manufacturer Blaupunkt USA has introduced the world's first internet in-car radio receiver at CES. Blanpunkt's new gadget(currently priced around $500 and should be available on the market by fall) will give users access to a substantial amount of Internet radio content. This receiver will allow drivers to get access to thousands of live web streamed radio stations while driving. It's being touted as an alternative to regular terrestrial radio and a possible competitor to satellite systems. This being the first offical in-car internet radio receiver, it is not without flaws. Major one - drivers have to be connected to an Internet-enabled smartphone phone to receive the signals and that could cost extra for a pricey data plan.

In any case, I've seen the future, my friends, and it's not staying in Vegas.


Amused said...

This is GREAT! The crappy local stations available everywhere! Considering that terrestial rdio has become a bore, with the same voices, formats, songs and morning shows in EVERY market!

No. It doesn't address the problem; terrestial radio is godawful. Getting more stations wiht the same old awful radio? Who is going to pay for that? This won't makea dent in satellite (at least until Mel mucks it up with 18 units of spots an hour)

Aaron Read said...

Actually I predict a collective yawn from consumers. People who have cellphones with unlimited data plans are already using the CELLPHONE to get their one or two favorite web streams. Why buy a radio that does the same thing?

Remember, unlimited choice is not a selling point; satradio tried that and found that listeners stick to the same 2-4 channels all the time. Web radio is no different.

This does not mean that the CONCEPT of web radio in the car is not potentially game-changing...if not game-ending...for terrestrial radio. But I don't think radios like this will be the kill shot.