Are you excited about ‘digital radio’?

I’m running a twtpoll today about the launch of ‘digital radio’ in Australia. Of course, as far as I’m concerned, ‘digital radio’ is a pretty silly concept. Podcasting has been around for five years and with iPhone and iPods and the like becoming pretty mainstream, podcasting already gives audiences a digital experience. Why would you want to go out and buy ANOTHER device?

Let’s see what exciting benefits digital radio offers, according to the industry’s own site, and compare that to podcasting:

  • Clearer sound and improved reception – Check. If you’ve downloaded a podcast onto your own device, you have PERFECT reception.
    • Extra features such as extra channels – Check. There are tens of thousands of podcasts.
      • pause and rewind radio – Check.
        • downloadable music – Check. It’s called “iTunes”, bitch.
          • more details about the advertised product – Hmmm. I’d say “Bonk” to think one as we don’t carry much advertised product.
            • slideshows – Check. Podcasts in Apple’s AAC format contain slides, if that kind of thing excites you.
              • scrolling text – Check. Ye old iPods scroll, but iPhones are far sexier.
                • Electronic Program Guides – Check. It’s called your iTunes playlist.
                  • updated news, sports and racing information – Check. It’s called “the web” and it comes fully-integrated into iPhones.
                    • Extra channels potentially doubles the number of commercial stations – Oooh “doubles”! That’s twice as much Kyle Sandilands! Podcasting has released tens of THOUSANDS of new ‘stations’.

                      What do you see in that list that is innovative? Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last five years, you already have most or all of these features on your iPhone, iPod or mobile phone. And, if you don’t, you will when you buy one. And you’ll have a far wider choice of options that digital radio will offer you.

                      So far on my poll, 87% of respondents say they are not interested in digital radio. What about you?

                      3 thoughts on “Are you excited about ‘digital radio’?

                      1. One thing you haven’t mentioned is that devices, such as the iPhone, can connect to streaming music stations (eg TripleJ) using their 3g net access.

                        So once you have podcasts and regular albums for stored music AND internet radio for live music, what need is there for the digital radio? I certainly won’t be getting one.

                      2. Two words for you: Live Sports!
                        As of yet, this doesn’t work on Podcasts or Streaming Audio as we don’t have them. Plus, until 3G or WiMax or whatever technology comes to mean that we are always connected to the internet becomes affordable and reliable for as much bandwidth as you can get, radio is still a better medium for live information and live conversations.

                        In fact, you could argue mobile technology and podcasting is making radio better! I mean, being able to tweet or sms your views to a radio show or being able to podcast shows you miss mean that radio is getting the best of both world. What we really need is for the radio industry to get a clue how to package their content out to the people. From limited experience MMM and Nova and JJJ aren’t bad at it but the older AM stations (AW and SEN especially) don’t have it right yet!

                        Perhaps a better thing would be if Apple supported Digital radio affordably (okay, its Apple, they don’t know the meaning of affordable) in an iPod/iPhone device!

                        Just my point of view.


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