Radio as a “Feature”

As more and more stuff becomes Internet-enabled, it will bring the capacity to enable that stuff with Internet audio, or "radio." 

That means we are fast entering a time when "radio" will become a feature of other things rather than simply a destination unto itself, as it has been until now

Historically, you "listen to the radio" by finding one and tuning in stations on it. But as streaming audio entertainment moves everywhere and on everything, radio will become a product feature rather than a piece of hardware dedicated to delivering stations. 

You'll see brands which have no roots in radio adding a "radio" component in order to enrich the brand and deepen the engagement of the brand's fans. And I don't simply mean adding a streaming audio iPhone app to a phone. 

For example, the folks at SBR tell me their Custom Channels application is as suited to retail stores, restaurants, e-tailers, and other websites as it is to radio stations and their sites. Radio, in other words, is being added as a feature of existing brands whose business is something altogether different from radio. 

In a world where anyone can create radio on anything, value will flow to the pre-existing brands which extend that precious halo over their audio versions.

Already, a hotel group has a soundtrack. A coffee chain has a label. A magazine has a radio channel

Once everything is Internet-enabled, it's only a matter of time and inclination before it's radio-enabled. 

Depending on what you mean by the term "radio."

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