Smith Praises Jeff Smulyan For Chip Work
speaks at the show.
In his NAB opening keynote address, NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith gave kudos to Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan for his efforts to get the FM chip in cell phones. And he weighed in on the dashboard debate. "Sprint customers will soon have a wide variety of smartphone options that receive local radio stations without using a data plan – this is great news for radio listeners. There is no better or more reliable resource for information during times of crisis than broadcast stations." The NextRadio app developed by Emmis should be ready later this year. It will pick up local radio stations without having to use a customer's data plan.
Smith also challenged the radio industry, as he has for the past several years, to decide whether streaming is the future of the radio business. Smith asked, as consumers' media consumption habits change, how will the radio industry keep one step ahead? "In radio, is the future streaming, or is it over the air, or both? Consumers, ultimately, will answer this question. I have no doubt we will we continue to retain our rightful place in the automobile, and that we'll be offering not just AM, not just FM, not just HD, but an interactive hybrid experience that gives our listeners more options than ever before, all for free. And we all know, it's very hard for paid services to compete with free."
Smith also weighed in on the deashboard debate. "Not too long ago some within our own industry raised the question of whether radio, specifically, was on the verge of being pushed out of the automobile. I think consumers and the leaders in Detroit said it best with a resounding no. But it is a good reminder that broadcasters can't take their place in the dashboard for granted…we must continue to innovate and provide the content listeners want on many different platforms. We must keep our eyes focused on the new doors that open before us. The danger for any business that becomes complacent is it's being left behind."
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