The Future of Radio: All Confusion, All the Time

Quick, this is a quiz.

See this logo from WRAL:

And these comments from their site:

The tuner lets you select MIX 101.5 WRAL-FM or WRAL-HD2, which is our HD Radio multicast channel highlighting nationally known artists, local artists, and music that is not played on any other commercial radio station in the Triangle. (MIX 101.5 is the first commercial radio station in North Carolina and only the second commercial radio station in the country to multicast its HD signal.)

What does the above logo and the commentary suggest to the listener?

Is it the MIX I’ve known and loved as a listener for years? Is it a second mix with the same music? Is it another MIX with different music – in which case what does it mean to be called “MIX,” anyway? And when I talk about MIX am I talking about MIX-1 or the new MIX-2? What is a “multicast channel” and what is “HD,” anyway? And what is the benefit to me that this is the “first commercial station in North Carolina” providing this thing I don’t understand, anyway? I know I can listen to this online, but why can’t I get it on my radio? What? I have to buy a NEW radio? Are you serious?

I’ll write more about the mistakes we’re making as we roll out this technology. But the above paragraph sums it up pretty darned well.

If listeners get confused enough, maybe they’ll just go listen to Sunny.

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