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Clear Channel to Microsoft: “May I Have this Dance?”

Clear Channel Radio and Microsoft … announced a collaborative agreement to build a nationwide data delivery service using HD Radio technology to send personalized and localized content to a variety of receivers and devices, from smart cell phones and watches to household appliances.

The implications of it are rather hazy, based on this news release. But it appears that Clear Channel has an opportunity to broaden the definiton of “radio” to include “wireless data delivery,” which is perfectly sound (no pun intended) and further distances its portfolio of services from competitors who perceive “radio” to be limited to what comes out of speakers.

Microsoft, meanwhile, gains a new distribution channel for its MSN Direct services – and they’ve been signing up distribution deals for their various products and services by the boatload lately.

What it means for HD radio long-term remains to be seen. But any scenario which incentivizes consumers to buy or use an HD radio for reasons other than the lackluster content currently on it is okay by me.

The less you’re buying “HD radio” and the more you’re buying a benefit that just happens to be wrapped up in HD radio, the better off the radio industry will be.

Or, in this case, the better off Clear Channel will be.

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