The ubiquity and ease of use of radio are two of its greatest strengths compared to all the techno-upstarts on the horizon.
And, as I’ve said before, they are two of our least easily defended.
When Pandora has 80 million registered users (and counting) it is clearly on a trajectory of ubiquity. And iPods (and their i-kin) are even closer to everywhere.
Gadgets that satisfy what consumers hunger for explode into every nook and cranny of our lives faster than ever before.
Meanwhile the steady march of technology will invariably drive these platforms toward simplicity and ease of use (thanks in no small part to Apple) because technologists understand that elegance and ease facilitate the very scale that ubiquity represents.
Part of that simplicity that promotes scale is a common user interface.
Did you know that such an interface is built right into iOS 4 and can be brought to your car without what MobileCrunch aptly calls “the messy third party user interface”?
Witness this feature in action on BMW:
If we’ve learned anything, it’s that the drive to advance the entertainment systems in new cars is profound and a critical ingredient to auto sales.
Using an iPod in your car will increasingly be a similar experience no matter what car you’re in. It will increasingly look and feel like a souped up car radio where the “dial” is the same on every device that enables it.
The march towards ubiquity and ease of use for radio substitutes advances.
You had better look for more sustainable advantages, broadcasters.