Here’s one that may have slipped under your radar.
So, the most significant radio story came down the pike at the end of the week and only a few in the radio industry took notice?
Last Friday, Google told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of its intent to bid for the 700MHz spectrum, if certain proposed auction rules are adopted.
If they agree to the rules, Google will participate on the bidding at the FCC’s $4.6 billion reserve price. By law, the auction has to take place by January 28, 2008.
The government needs the money raised from the auction after nearly eight years of reckless spending and a national debt that’s been increasing an average of $1.33 billion per day for the past ten months.
So what’s the frequency, Kenneth?
New use of this spectrum will make high-speed wireless Broadband available almost anywhere and provide low-cost service to even the most rural of regions.
It will force cell providers to drop price. Supply and demand will be on the consumer’s side.
That’s why it’s being called the most important and valuable wireless spectrum available in the U.S.
This isn’t just beachfront property. This is the whole beach.
I take it back. It’s the whole ocean.
The spectrum is currently used by UHF channels 52 through 69. Those stations have to vacate it by February, 2009 – the month when all TV stations must go digital or die.
Eventually Internet radio and TV will be on a level playing field with terrestrial, which will create a market for free-standing Internet radio and television units.
You won’t have to be tethered to a computer or cell to listen or watch.
Internet radio (and TV) will be available in cars with audio comparable to satellite radio.
Over time it could render current copyright laws outdated since everything from music to movies will become borderless.
That’s not music to the RIAA’s pointy little ears.
Old media and the music and film industry will have to adapt to the new technology – not the other way around. They’ve resisted change and always proved wrong. Recorded music on the radio? 45 RPMs? Cassettes? Video players? CDs? DVDs? Tivo?
Terrestrial radio has never considered Internet radio a direct threat. That’ll change.
It’s like that village blacksmith at the turn of the last century boasting that the newly-invented automobile will never put the horse out of business as the primary means of transportation. A few years later that same blacksmith is trying to defend his business by shooting at tires on passing cars.
In Europe and Asia - far ahead of us in streaming audio and video - free-standing Internet radios are already being sold at retail.
Hotels are a burning hot market for Internet radio. Many European and Asian hotels, most notably those catering to the international business traveler, have converted from their old terrestrial models to free-standing Internet radios. Just last week the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong made the switch.
In-room Internet radio allows hotel guests to listen to news, information, and music from anywhere in the world to their own hometown.
Consider the prospective market for foreign and exchange students.
Then there’s the Eurotrash market and the spoiled broods of Saudi and Kuwaiti princes who dispose of more income in one day than most of us will in a lifetime. They’ll buy dozens of them to hear Internet stations that’ll play all that has-been trashy disco/rap they can’t get enough of.
Though Internet radio is worldwide, stations catering to smaller regions and even individual neighborhoods and ethnic environs will emerge in the U.S. since small market terrestrial radio is now a rarity.
Except for countries like China and Iraq, where they’ll cut your ears off and shove ‘em down your throat if they catch you listening to unapproved programming, it’s a borderless, worldwide market.
Among the global manufacturers of free-standing Internet radios are HipShing (which has deals with Thompson, Sanyo, Phillips, Hitachi, and others), Acoustic Energy, and Roku, which just did the deal with Peninsula.
There’s no U.S. market for free-standing units. Not yet.
Let’s open to the Book of Jobs.
There was good reason why Steve decided against adding a terrestrial AM-FM radio tuner on the iPhone. He’s a futurist and knows that when Internet access is no longer moored to a Wi-Fi hot spot or a specific carrier, his unit will provide a direct connection to thousands of Internet radio and TV stations.
September 29, 2009. Time flies.
A couple of geniuses chided me on what they believed was the Google story of the week – the stock drop.
So they missed Wall Street earning expectations. Big deal. It happened in part because of their aggressive recruiting and hiring of the best and brightest while simultaneously releasing a substantial measure of new offerings. What a problem to have.
It beats owning Clear Channel stock.
Their executive staff can’t even remember what the color black looks like.
They bought a new accounting program. It’s called Addition by Subtraction.
And what about Google and Apple?
I’ll bet they’ll start their own political parties by 2008 and their own countries by 2012.