Tuning out

Tuning out

: Fred Wilson talks on a panel at Infinity Radio (as in Viacom and Howard Stern) about what radio will be like in 2010, for like all big media companies, they’re worried about where this is headed. He shares his prognostications here.

The interesting flipside to the discussion he takes part in is what new disruptive opportunities there are for us citizens.

Internet radio hasn’t taken over the world yet but I think it will grow: Any of us can start a live radio station (but if you play music, you’ll need to pay fees for it). The problem today is distribution: The audience doesn’t expect to be tethered to a wire to the Internet to listen to radio. Radio is supposed to be everywhere. Once high-speed wireless connectivity is ubiquitous, online radio will be everywhere. But I don’t know when that will happen.

So I’ve been thinking that the first thing we should be doing — if we want to make radio — is to produce for iPods (and other MP3 players) so that our listeners can take our programming anywhere. I liked it when Chris Lydon interviewed people in the worlds of blogs and politics and I could take his interviews with me (sadly, he has all but stopped as he works on radio). I keep looking at Audible to find other nonfiction audio to hear but I don’t find much.

So what could you produce with a PC and a microphone that would be worth hearing on an iPod? Interviews? Jokes? Audio posts (what if 10 bloggers got one minute each to speak on a topic each day)? Arguments (our version of talk radio)? Reviews? Man-on-the-street reviews (ask people what they think of a movie or restaurant as they leave)? None of the above?