Shingles and nails are the stock and trade of a roofing company. Or, so I thought till Carl Boyer at Ideal Roofing opened me up to a different way to thinking about 15 years ago. Carl said he was really running a marketing company generating phone inquiries; he sub-contracted the work, had suppliers deliver directly to jobs, and had only to close the agreement and inspect the finished work. He’s a marketer, not a roofer.
Radio is in the portable entertainment business. It shouldn’t be in the broadcasting business anymore because that model is sliding toward obsolescence. You can hear it in every promo directing listeners to a station’s streaming website.
Technology is the dam holding back a flood of change. And, the dam is leaking. When the internet is able to deliver radio to cars effectively, broadcasting as we know it will be lost in the flood.
SanDisk’s Sansa Connect picks up Yahoo online stations in wireless areas. Sprint Nextel is working with Pandora Media to bring a personalized music service to its phones; Pandora is developing their own portable player too.
Most promising of all is Dallas-based Slacker, which will have an in-car player in the market by the end of this Summer, according to The Wall Street Journal. (Subscription Required) Even though their player receives via satellite and stores to a hard-drive, the source material comes from the internet.
While Internet radio remains a nascent industry populated by small players and zealots, they’re the same kind of people who pioneered broadcasting. Maybe radio today could learn a lot from a roofer named Carl.
[Originally published 18 June 2007]