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Bob Struble: CES 2014 Confirms Radio's Competitive Challenge
■ Consumer electronics in cars: The infotainment system has become a critical buying factor in new car sales, as important as acceleration, gas mileage and safety ratings.
■ AM/FM has great content, but position on the screen is being decided by automotive product people who are demanding visually-enhanced experiences. In many ways the blank analog screen has lost its position on the dashboard to other more fully featured services. HD Radio broadcasting is imperative in the race to keep up.
■ Yesterday's clock radio is probably a dock, table radios and boom boxes have become Bluetooth speakers, and my generation's transistor radio or headphone radio or Walkman is now a ...mobile phone.
■ Radio's...core broadcast product [is] proving to be a better business [than streaming], even in this hyper-targeted, hyper-competitive world.
■ "What [the Internet of Things] means for broadcaster is this: in a very short period of time, every device that has an AM/FM tuner, will also have an Internet connection. And that has profound competitive implications.
His conclusion: "The trends toward broad connectivity and a tremendously competitive audio market are...accelerating. Broadcasters must redouble their efforts to keep their hard fought place in the media mix."
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