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Apple wants to Erase your Radio Spots

Another day, another technology-driven way to undo advertising.  Forget the fact that advertising is what pays for most of the content we enjoy on TV or radio.

Apple was just granted a patent for technology that would allow users to switch seamlessly to their own audio or video files once ads started playing on their TV or radio stations.

I don’t know how this could affect listening to radio on traditional radios (still the way most folks get their radio) – it would certainly affect listening mediated by more advanced tech gadgets.  Not that those are catching on, or anything.

As for Apple’s plan, according to the patent approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: “When an electronic device determines that an upcoming media item in a media broadcast is not of interest to a user, the electronic device can switch playback from the media stream to a media item from the electronic device local library,” the patent said.

Once the “non-interesting” item appears, the user’s iTunes library would kick in and play music, video or a podcast.

In case you think this is all about TV, not radio, consider the title of the Patent: Seamless switching between radio and local media.

I’m assuming “local” in this context means content on your device.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.  You can bet that the power players in the entertainment industry – especially in television – will be none too happy.

Look for advertising and content to become increasingly inseparable. Sponsorship and spots are not the same thing – nor are content and advertising – but their dollars come from the same place.  And they will become more and more identical.

Think those annoying promotional snipes at the bottom of your favorite TV shows are annoying now?

Just wait.

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