Thursday, 12 June 2008


Another business model goes plop

Link your radio to a retailer to create a “buy what you’re hearing now” button for music.  Sound like a plan?  Didn’t succeed in the U.K.

Radio group Unique will close down its instant music purchasing initiative [“Cliq”], blaming the slow take up of DAB for the decision, the F[inancial] T[imes] reports today.

...Cliq [...has] been touted as the showpiece for the commercial potential of interactive radio. Cliq allowed DAB listeners to acquire a song as they heard it. It was launched two years ago, with the service embedded in standalone DAB[1] radios... and also ran as a Java applet on mobile phones. - The Register
It appears that Cliq was shuttered due to low levels of business; while the company reported an “operating profit” last year, those figures didn’t reflect debt expenses or recovery of startup costs.

This is bad news for both the music business (which loses a much-needed sales channel) and the radio business (which loses a differentiating feature that might have encouraged more purchases of DAB receivers).

[1] DAB is the European version of digital radio. It has experienced uptake problems similar to those of American-version HD (but less severe, with an estimated 6.5 million sets presently in use in the U.K. alone).

Posted by: Old Grouch in Radio at 23:16:20 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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Tuesday, 10 June 2008


A new fancy radio - without HD

This expensive
4-column x 14¼" ad appeared on Monday’s Technology page (B6) of the Wall Street Journal:

Porsche Design

Table Top Stereo System with Dock for iPod / XM Ready / AM-FM-Shortwave / RDS [Radio Data System]
Oh, and it’s $600.

So where’s the HD?

Which should be particularly disconcerting to the HD crowd as this status-symbol-grade unit parses RDS information transmissions and comes factory-equipped to receive XM satellite broadcasts (not to mention including the now-obligatory iPod dock).  (The European version, BTW, is fully DAB-capable.)

Looks like another vote of no-confidence for HD.

Earlier HD posts:

Posted by: Old Grouch in Radio at 19:17:10 GMT | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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Thursday, 05 June 2008


Class and no class

No class:

Cameron [Holt] is a Make-a-Wish child, and Make-a-Wish is sponsored by radio station WZPL 99.5 FM.  In that context, Cameron was invited to visit the track May 21; he was asked to participate in a pit crew competition and be the guest of the WZPL team, including disc jockey Dave Smiley and other radio hotshots.

But when Cameron and his parents and sister Candace, 11, showed up at the WZPL area, Dave Smiley and the others in his crew were drinking,” said Trish [Sieger, Cameron’s mom].  She saw Smirnoff bottles and indifference.  The time? About 11:30 a.m., says Trish.

“I walked up and introduced Cameron.  They never put it (alcohol) down so we just stood there.”

“We were not expecting fireworks,” she explained.  “But when a sick child is involved, you would think they would make an effort.”

Although eventually the Smiley team offered to take Cameron to meet the drivers, the little boy had his heart set on participating in the competition. That never happened.

“They just walked off and left us,” said Trish, speaking of Smiley and Co.
Fortunately, somebody with real class showed up, and took things in hand.

Ruth Holladay has the story.

Posted by: Old Grouch in Radio at 22:16:45 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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