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Radio’s future is not about Towers

A recent Jack Myers Media Business Report focuses on the increasing emphasis on broadband, content development and brand building among traditional radio broadcasters.

It includes some strong and unambiguous statements by the heads of Clear Channel and Infinity, and it’s certainly signals a move in the right direction.

“The Internet is absolutely part of the future,” says Clear Channel Radio’s president John Hogan….As of this month, 300 of the company’s 1,200 stations offer streaming audio and video on their sites and Clear Channel is in active discussions with cell phone companies to offer mobile content. “We’re no longer in the tall tower business,” claims Hogan. “We are in the content creation and distribution business and we’re agnostic on the platforms we distribute our content through.” Infinity Broadcasting chairman and CEO Joel Hollander agrees “the Internet is a real revenue stream down the road” and says Infinity is currently streaming audio feeds on twelve station websites. “We are basically just starting on the web,” he says, “and we have plans to roll out more before the end of the year.” Infinity’s CBS-AM has tested dual feeds on major stories such as streaming the terrestrial radio signal plus a second feed for continuing stories such as live Congressional hearings.

I would probably have used the word “indifferent” instead of “agnostic” since the latter word suggests we’re not sure what platform we want to be on, but still. Great declarations of leadership from two of Radio’s leaders. It’s transformational to hear from a group head what I and many other analysts have been saying for some time: That Radio isn’t about towers, it’s about content, wherever you find it.

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