Friday, January 16, 2009

Is the Web A Radio Killer Too?

It's been well noted that the web has caused great frustration to traditional media, print and TV especially. The web has also affected retail as well, with brick and mortar stores like Virgin Records unable to compete with digital downloads. So it should not come as such a surprise that it has affected radio as well. "Los Angeles station Indie 103.1 will cease broadcasting over the air on Thursday, according to on-air announcements, but will continue to broadcast via the Web. " While other radio stations have enhance their reach by also streaming their signal over the web, 103.1 is switching over completely from airwaves to web. Cost may be a factor, declining audience may be another. Certainly there is more to the story...

Hulu, Joost, and Others to Stream Inauguration

While I tend to talk about how streaming video content will change cable's subscription model for access to TV channels, I will make an exception today. While networks have been walking a fine line demanding fees for carriage and then offering the same content free for streaming on the web, it is sometimes in the public good to agree with that irony.

I am speaking about next weeks coverage of the inauguration of Barack Obama. Last night, I asked my son's teacher if they were planning to watch his swearing in and speech in their classroom. She replied that not every classroom has cable TV access, but that they all do have internet access. And so the power of technology will allow these students the ability to watch live what is sure to be remembered as an historic event. "Hulu, the Webcaster jointly owned by News Corp. and NBC Universal, will carry a two-hour stream of Fox Broadcasting's live coverage of the swearing-in ceremony from noon to 2 p.m. ET." And while today it is possible to tape the coverage and replay at a later date, technology has provided us the ability to watch it live through multiple devices. In the days of Kennedy, broadcast or radio were the only means to connect; today, the rise of cable and web access has enabled even more accessibility to this historic event. "'In 2009, the word (for all-news outlets) is ubiquity,' MSNBC's Griffin said. 'We're in places where you don't normally see us.'"

For my son, and other students around the country, I hope TV or web access is available at your school to take advantage of and be part of what is sure to be a long remembered experience for this Country.