The Future of Radio–And Your Business

Seth Godin was interviewed about the future of radio recently.  He offered a few ideas about how radio might evolve.  Even if you’re not in the business, thinking about this industry has some value.  Seth mentions that even with millions of options, we’ll probably end up with a small number of really popular stations.

But I think Seth missed the real opportunities.  Let me tell you what I want.  When I start up the car on a weekday morning, the first thing I want to hear is a traffic report.  Then the weather.  Then the news summary, both national and local.  I may want an in-depth news report if something’s really interesting; if not, I’ll go to my favorite music or talk-show.

How do I get this?  Think of a smart radio Tivo.  The car radio should be receiving a feed, storing and sorting it.  When it hears a new traffic report, it should overwrite the old traffic report in memory, and be prepared to play that new report when I start the car.  In addition, the radio should be receiving feeds of the news.  When I’m listening to the news summary and hear a story that interests me, a simple button should allow me to tell the radio that I want to hear the in-depth version of that story as soon as I finish the new summary.

The lesson for other businesses:  spend some time blue-skying about an ideal experience for your customer.  Ask yourself what it would take to deliver it.