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iPod – Radio’s TiVo

A note today from a friend of mine noted that the iPod can now download the speeches from the Democratic convention for free.

Now, leaving aside whether anyone would actually WANT to do this…

We have to be mindful of what the iPod is becoming.

Not just a tape player to play a tape or a CD player to play a CD.

It’s becoming a repository for our identities – what’s on it is all the music (or non-music) programming that is meaningful for us. It is as much who we are as the cars we drive, the neighborhoods we live in, the clothes we wear, and the custom orders we make at Starbucks. It is a better reflection of each of us than any radio station will ever be.

It is also TiVo for Radio. Or, rather, TiVo instead of Radio.

The difference between TV and TiVo is the difference between what the networks want you to see and what you actually intend to see. The control moves to the viewer. With iPod, the control moves to the listener. iPod creates iPower.

Radio is generally in the business of pleasing most of the people most of the time. But what do you do when there’s a device that can please all of the people all of the time? What is the role of Radio then?

The answer is simple: You must become urgent and essential in the moment. You either create custom, unique programming that can’t be duplicated or downloaded, or you stand on the shore of the FM dial and watch your audience set sail for a brave new world.

Your choice.

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