Some months ago, as you can see in the archives, I wrote a piece about the importance of making sure that your internet stream is properly processed. At the time, I mentioned that listening to internet streams for music and news is no longer a niche service embraced only by tech nerds and music freaks.
The masses are coming. They are heading right over the horizon. Here they come.
Skeptical? Radio consultant Alan Burns, hardly a guy who goes out on a limb without a lot of research, had this to say from a recent report entitled "What's Radio's Future In A Wired-Car World":
Even without a BLUETOOTH dashboard, women are using Internet in their cars via their smartphones. 24% of our sample said they use or listen to the Internet in their cars weekly; 16% do it every day. But usage of built-in access is even higher: almost half the women whose cars are so equipped use the Internet in their cars daily.
Sort of breaks that techie, male music freak stereotype, eh? And note the proliferation of a bluetooth dashboard, now ubiquitous in most new cars, vans and even trucks.
But how about smartphones themselves? How about this quote from an article called "There Will Be More Smartphones Than Humans On The Planet By Year's End" via the Mashable Tech website:
By the end of this year, there could be more smartphones on the planet than humans, and by 2016 there could be 10 billion smartphones. That's 1.4 mobile devices per capita.
Read full article, click: http://mashable.com/2012/02/14/more-smartphones-than-humans/
But what about all the data requirements for all those phones? Check this clip from a Business Wire report from only a few weeks ago, entitled "Strong Smartphone Growth To Propel 4G Market Forward":
LTE (Long Term Evolution technology) will make its presence felt in 2012 with connection volumes increasing nine-fold to reach 90 million by year-end, according to the latest research from the Strategy Analytics Wireless Operator Strategies service, "Worldwide Cellular User Forecasts: 2012-2017. With LTE smartphones now pushing beyond their core early markets of US, South Korea and Japan, this technology is set for a rapid rise and will exceed one billion connections by early 2017.
For the full article, click: http://www.fiercemobilecontent.com/press-releases/strong-smartphone-growth-propel-4g-market-forward
But smartphones aren't the only story. Tablets, like the iPad, are exploding in popularity. Some have remarkably good built-in speakers, but all--of course--accept earbuds or higher end earphones. And you can surf and write while listening to a stream, right?
If you look at some of the recent radio ratings reports, you will see the internet streams of select American terrestrial radio services actually starting to register in the ratings all by themselves.
Yet, as I said in an earlier article, it is bewildering why--with truckloads of new smartphone users coming online every day---certain stations' streams sound just awful, with no dynamic range or even fundamental level control between air relay and internet-only spot and promo drop-ins.
Expense? Not an excuse.
For example, the Omnia A/XE software streaming and encoding solution lists for under $400.
Or, the next time you are in the market for a terrestrial transmitter processing upgrade, you may want to check out the Omnia.9, which will also process and encode THREE DIFFERENT HD streams from a single unit.
So, with all of that new traffic coming into your webstream every day, what is their first impression of your product?
Remember, first impressions are the most lasting.