This makes sense. As AccuRadio COO John Gehron points out, it’s exactly consistent with what we saw in the 1970s as FM took off.
Back in that era, as I dimly recall from my grade school days, there were quite a few AM broadcasters that owned FM licenses and did nothing with them except simulcast their AM stations (to the extent the FCC allowed). Generally speaking, these simulcasts did not do well.
As soon as other broadcasters used their FM signals for programming that was specifically designed to take advantage of the benefits of the FM band — e.g., the bandwidth to deliver new music formats, lower spot loads, higher fidelity, and stereo — those stations took off and the simulcasts floundered.
That seems to be what’s happening now with Internet radio. As webcasters offer products specifically designed to take advantage of the benefits of Internet delivery — e.g., the bandwidth to deliver new music formats, lower spot loads, deeper playlists, and most importantly personalization — those stations (e.g., Pandora) are taking off and the simulcasts appear to be floundering.
If you’re a broadcaster, of course you should continue to stream your terrestrial signal online, as it’s a customer service to those fans of yours that may have access to a PC or smartphone but not an AM/FM radio in a certain listening location.
But if you’re looking for growth, a straight simulcast of your AM/FM signal is probably not the answer you’re looking for.
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