Monday, September 22, 2003

How Much Would You Pay Not To Listen To Commercials?: Certainly no one would argue that radio today is worth a farthing. Oh, I guess that's because it's free. Not free in the sense that you don't pay a increasingly high price with your ears, listening to nameless/personality-less "DJ's" interrupt the studio engineer/computer, in order to relay the latest traffic jam. Not in the sense that you don't waste countless minutes hitting all your pre-sets, then going manual to find the one Foo Fighter song you haven't heard three times that day for some "variety". Not that you don't pay with every fiber of your sanity to avoid the quick-twitch reflex to go to talk radio, because better than the latest packaged Michelle Branch "song".

No, it's free only because you only need buy a radio to listen in. Of course, today, even in your car, you don't have to turn on the radio. Sure, you can always burn a CD, or quaintly, dub a tabe; or even sing your own song, but unless you're addicted to Kazaa, even those faves will get old. And, unless you never have a passenger, let's hope you're not singing Michael Bolton - actually, let's just hope that regardless.

So, would you pay around $10.00/month to get hundreds of channels, no commercials, and variety out the wazoo? Well, that's the test before you. You can now have a digital receiver installed in your car, and many manufacturers are giving you the option to have a player put in you car upon delivery.

I don't see how "free" radio has a chance. For the price of one-half of a CD a month, you can get nearly limitless radio. I would concede that it will take probably a few more years for the technology to catch up to our national consciousness, but especially for those who drive a great deal, having the ability to never hear another commercial again, is simply priceless.

Note to Eno: a "CD" is like an "record", but smaller in diamater, made of space-age plastic, and knows only one speed - the speed of light baby.

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