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Meet your newest competitor

It’s the “Infusion” portable radio from a company called Torian, and it’s billed as “the world’s first truly portable Internet radio”:

The InFusion allows users to listen to thousands of radio stations from around the world that stream through the World Wide Web, without the need for a computer. Its compact and stylish design (around the size of a deck of card) allows maximum portability to travelers and those stationed abroad who want to stay in touch with local news, sports, and music.

In and of itself, this is just another gadget. And gadgets come – and go – all the time. But this one is at the leading edge of a slew of similar gadgets, many of which will be produced by much bigger names with much greater marketing clout.

One day, not long from now, devices like this rival satellite radio and, of course, will impact both conventional radio and HD radio. In fact, based on the current programming scheme for HD, this radio is far superior in terms of “variety” – right out of the box.

When a listener can hear anything from anywhere in the world, the main question will be how strong your brand is – your local brand – in the hearts, minds, and ears of your audience.

The future will belong to the stations with the right stuff between the songs.

Because a million music machines will be “broadcast” from bedroom studios all over the world, and the “long tail” of radio will be only a click away.

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