Hammacher Schlemmer has a piece of audio equipment that plugs into the 12 Volt power outlet of an automobile, and with iPhone and Bluetooth, it gives the user access to the entire spectrum of internet radio while in the vehicle, said to be some 45K stations.
The device itself is reasonably priced, but according to a product review, the true expense may come down the road in the act of maintaining connectivity.
Gadgeteer wrote about the product, saying, “A free iPhone app streams the stations, including nationwide NPR stations as well as Pandora and Grooveshark stations. The buttons on the transmitter can control the iPhone’s app for scanning for stations. And if your car’s radio has an auxiliary input, you can connect the transmitter directly so you don’t have to worry about radio interference. The transmitter is $99.99, but I’m thinking the real expense will come from data plan overages.”
RBR-TVBR observation: This may be great for a variety junkie, but the average listener is going to want to find a few alternatives and stick with them. As for advertisers, with that kind of clutter, the medium is less than useless. For broadcasters, it is one more piece of evidence that local is the way to go – that market-based airborne signal and knowledge of the audience is broadcast’s key competitive advantage.