Tuesday, May 13, 2008

WiFi Everywhere....well not everywhere

As the predictions proliferate about WiFi everywhere, the folks in the city of brotherly love have been jilted by Earthlink. Users of the citywide wireless system in Philadelphia have been given 30 day notice that the system will not only be shut down but dismantled.

This from engadget:

We knew it was coming, but Philadelphia's citywide WiFi is now officially being turned off, and Earthlink is planning on pulling down all of its access points. Like basically every other municipal WiFi project, it seems like the cost of keeping the system going outweighed the benefits, and Earthlink couldn't find a buyer willing to take things over. Current Earthlink customers will get 30 more days of service, until June 12, and then it's lights bytes out. Here's hoping Philly coffee shops are ready for an influx of urban warriors. [Via Philebrity, thanks Andy R.]
One has to wonder if the economics of operating these citywide systems will slow the "wireless everywhere" train? I suspect bumps in the road like this will lead to the development of a better and more economically sustainable system.

Timeshifting and Radio

In the course of my work day I am always on the lookout for interesting things to write about on the blog. I came across the blog from the creators of Radio Sherpa-a website that aggregates radio station streams in a few major markets. They had an excellent post that I thought I would share with you. No comments from me necessary.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Death of Primetime (and CBS Radio)

There was an interesting article today in the New York Times regarding the challenges facing prime time television. The author points out that audiences for prime time shows continue to decline as time shifting and web streaming become viable alternatives. But the author also indicates that the most popular shows (e.g., The Office, CSI) have 20-25% GAINS when DVR viewing is included.

“As a result of time-shifting, the biggest shows are getting bigger and some of the smaller shows are getting negatively impacted,” the senior television executive said.

What does this tell us?

Good content always wins. And those who have it, need to leverage it.

The same lesson can be applied to radio.

Morning/afternoon-drive (radio's prime time) radio shows will continue to lose audience to alternatives such as cell phones and the iPod. But as with television, all is not lost.

Those stations with great programs (music or otherwise) should leverage these brands by posting online and elsewhere. CBS Radio appears to understand this as it recently announced the syndication of its radio content for not only its own distribution network, but also other online networks.

If played right, new technologies do not have to result in a zero-sum game.

In a refreshing moment of clarity (and honesty), Alan Wurtzel, the head of research for NBC gave this gem to the Times:

“Honestly, if I could wish away the DVR, I would,” Mr. Wurtzel added. “But I can’t. It’s growing.”

The faster Radio executives reach the same conclusion regarding time shifting and online broadcasts, the better