Hammacher Schlemmer is marketing a device which plugs into an automobile’s 12-volt socket and, via Bluetooth and an iPhone, instantly sets the vehicle up to receive 45,000 different audio streams from AM, FM and internet sources.
The company calls it the 45,000 Station Car Radio, and is selling it for just under $100 per unit.
“The 45,000 Station Car Radio brings unprecedented access to worldwide radio stations—all without requiring a monthly service fee like satellite radio,” explained Hammacher Schlemmer’s General Manager, Fred Berns.
Once the unit is plugged in, it runs a free iPhone application that “…allows you to search music stations by genre or quickly navigate through thousands of talk-radio and news stations.” It allows the user to pick six favorites and save them as presets, and makes recommendations on sampling other AM, FM or internet-only sources based on the user’s listening patterns.
Hammacher Schlemmer is a catalog merchandiser that’s been around since 1848. It claims to offer its customers “Best, the Only and the Unexpected.”
RBR-TVBR observation: We all know how difficult it is to break through the clutter of just a 30 or 40 station market – imagine trying to bust through 45,000. However, the 40 local stations will have one huge advantage over the other 44,960 program sources – may we say the word “local” again? – and we strongly suggest local stations use that advantage to the hilt.
We know that radio has held its own against tape players, CD players and satellite radio, to name a few in-vehicle interlopers. But can it fend off the internet? Smart radio stations will use the internet to forward their own brand, but they will offer as much strong and relevant local content as they possibly can.
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