I want it all (and now I could get it – sort of – if I was in the USA) UPDATE

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Image from Iheaertradio.com
Image from Iheartradio.com

Personalised radio.

I’ve pondered it a number of times on this blog.

Back in 2009

And in 2011

The radio I want – how I want it.

According to a report in BILLBOARD from Sean Ross something similar is coming to Clear Channel’s Iheartradio service in the USA.

Last week, Clear Channel announced that iHeartRadio listeners could “add-in” local service elements—news, weather and traffic for their market, or “hundreds of others around the country” to their custom stations.

This isn’t necessarily going to kill radio. But it could be a glimpse into the future.

At the moment, Clear Channel are essentially allowing users of the service to “customise” their experience. Whilst a listener may not want to listen to their local station, they are still consuming a Clear Channel radio brand. So why not allow the local station news or traffic to be inserted to what they are listening to?

Could this work in the UK. Could I be listening to Radio2, but get a local news bulletin from Radio Solent? The simplest version is happening (as happened for many years, where RDS allows a car radio to be interrupted by a local travel report. This is however clunky, and not the same idea. In fact, this sort of thing would be far easier to do on commercial radio, since the content could be inserted where an AD break might be – much like the AD insertion/ substitution that Absolute Radio offer to registered users. For it to work on BBC stations, there would need to be some sort of junctions that could be opted out of – maybe news bulletins could be substituted for local ones if the lengths could be made to match for example.

Whilst it’s probably not a requirement for many people, in a world of personalization of online content provision, it’s certainly worth some thought.

And as Sean Ross notes:

Anything that further threatens the hegemony of AM/FM radio should be an inside job. If the antennas ever come down, it should be because broadcasters made them obsolete.

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