This week we reported GM will equip several 2014 automobiles with 4G mobile connectivity, enabling data speeds of up to ten times that of 3G connections (see RAIN here). American Public Media's "Marketplace Tech" covered it too, and focused on the implications for traditional AM/FM radio. Its headline: "GM's Internet cars: The end of FM radio?"
Show host David Brancaccio spoke with CNet executive editor Molly Wood, wondering if the new tech would be a "big opportunity, or a big pain-in-the-neck, for regular FM and AM radio stations that also cherish the in-car audience."
"Once this becomes readily available and the price for it is built into the price of the car," Wood said, "I think radio's got a pretty big problem."
Her prediction did come with some caveats. The first is cost. 4G is currently pretty pricey. Next, 4G coverage can still be spotty.
As Brancaccio suggested, however, there's also opportunity here for terrestrial radio. "Some existing radio stations are very strong brands, and if they get ahead of this... it might mean new listeners, not just in their traditional listening area, but across the country," he said.
Wood concurred: "And that is definitely the opportunity. If the content is there, and people want it, I think that's absolutely a huge opportunity. And I do think that there will always be a place for local."
Listen to the full inteview from APM's Marketplace Tech here.