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November 11, 2020 6:03 pm  #1


CFRB Seems To Think This Is The Future Of Radio. Do You Agree?

On Wednesday afternoon, I heard CFRB come out of the 5 PM news with a liner that essentially said something like “Whether on Google Car Play or Android Auto, This is the Rush on Newstalk 1010!”
 
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard 'RB try to promote listening over the Net or digitally. The other day I heard Jay Michaels welcome listeners on their smart speakers, which the station has been giving away in the past few months.
 
While I’ve heard other stations refer to listening through their apps to get “better quality,” clearly CFRB (and Bell Media) seems to be coming to the conclusion that online listening – even in cars - is the future of radio. There appears to be a growing push to encourage turning off your dashboard radio itself and turning on your phones.
 
I can see the pros and cons of this approach. The digital quality is better, there’s no fading or interference on the AM signal and it uses up data that makes Bell that much richer (presuming you’re on a Bell system.)
 
On the other hand, using the physical radio in your car does not require any buffering, there’s never any interruptions, it’s much more convenient to use and – perhaps most important, as the noted cheapskate that I am – it’s 100% free of charge and doesn’t allow any of the Big Guys to charge you for the privilege, depending on your phone contract. It also makes it easier for drivers to tune in out of town stations or podcasts they otherwise wouldn’t be able to get behind the wheel. So there’s no guarantee you’ll be tuning into the online version of 1010.   
 
I’ve also heard John Moore constantly tubthumping the advantages of listening over a smart speaker when you’re home. (Personally, while I love technology, you couldn't pay me to have one of those things in my house, given evidence that it’s always listening and has been caught in the past sending private conversations back to the company that made it. But maybe that’s just me.)
 
Would you or do you use these apps for listening in the car? Is this the future of radio? I’d be curious if you think ’RB is on to something or if they’re just shilling for Bell.

 

November 11, 2020 6:13 pm  #2


Re: CFRB Seems To Think This Is The Future Of Radio. Do You Agree?

In the morning I listen to RB on Alexa, many drops and lately mid broadcast the device stops and on its own then announces now tuning to (if my memory serves) something like tuning Caltron radio at which time I tell her to stop.

 

November 11, 2020 6:28 pm  #3


Re: CFRB Seems To Think This Is The Future Of Radio. Do You Agree?

Some of the newer interfaces referenced really do bury the radio functions. It's fewer taps to play 'RB through the app than finding it on the radio, at least from the home screen. And it's not even close if you're using voice command. 

I haven't had a data plan in years that would have me worrying about commute-length audio streaming. It's just not that much data. As for buffering, it almost never happens anymore. Besides, AM "buffers" too; under bridges, under streetcar wires, etc

These platforms are here to stay, and it would be foolish of radio stations (especially those on AM) to not migrate a portion of the audience to them.

Last edited by RadioAaron (November 11, 2020 6:29 pm)


 
 

November 11, 2020 6:37 pm  #4


Re: CFRB Seems To Think This Is The Future Of Radio. Do You Agree?

By all means, they should transition to a purely online presence. Little of value will be lost to the public and it will free up a frequency for a (hopefully) more deserving enterprise.

 

November 11, 2020 6:47 pm  #5


Re: CFRB Seems To Think This Is The Future Of Radio. Do You Agree?

Chrisphen wrote:

By all means, they should transition to a purely online presence. Little of value will be lost to the public and it will free up a frequency for a (hopefully) more deserving enterprise.

If existing AM stations somehow miraculously transitioned to be purely online, the value of their vacated frequencies would be exactly zero.  


 
 

November 11, 2020 7:38 pm  #6


Re: CFRB Seems To Think This Is The Future Of Radio. Do You Agree?

By sheer coincidence, I just found this article - dated Nov. 12th, because it's from Australia, where it's already tomorrow - and it would seem to vindicate CFRB's apparent digital direction. 

"According to chief executive officer at Commercial Radio Australia, Joan Warner, about 2.5 million people a week are now streaming radio on their mobile phones in Australia’s five major metropolitan markets, and a further 1.1 million are listening via their home devices."

How digital saved the radio star
 

     Thread Starter
 

November 11, 2020 8:04 pm  #7


Re: CFRB Seems To Think This Is The Future Of Radio. Do You Agree?

I usually stream using the Radio Player Canada app or the iHeart Radio app.  Very rarely do I dust off my vacuum tubes and transistors and capacitors to listen OTA 

 

November 11, 2020 9:30 pm  #8


Re: CFRB Seems To Think This Is The Future Of Radio. Do You Agree?

grilled.cheese wrote:

...Very rarely do I dust off my vacuum tubes and transistors and capacitors to listen OTA 

More's the pity.
https://i.ibb.co/7ts6f2s/IMG-20170401-181342.jpg

 

 

November 11, 2020 9:35 pm  #9


Re: CFRB Seems To Think This Is The Future Of Radio. Do You Agree?

It would be viable if Rogers and Bell cut the cost of streaming. I suppose it would be possible for them to allow customers to stream Rogers or Bell stations, respectively, for free but the CRTC might have something to say about that. 

 

November 12, 2020 11:21 am  #10


Re: CFRB Seems To Think This Is The Future Of Radio. Do You Agree?

Like you RA, I would never have a smart device in my apartment. Aside from the privacy issues, I am not so lazy that I need an Alexa to turn on my tv, lamps, etc. As for radio, my Sonos/Tune-in combination gives me everything I need in crystal clear reception through my 38 year old AR speakers. In the car, I always have the DX option.

 

November 12, 2020 11:28 am  #11


Re: CFRB Seems To Think This Is The Future Of Radio. Do You Agree?

We agree on this, but I'm thinking there are fewer of us all the time who feel that way. There are some things I'm willing to exchange for technology and the convenience it brings. My ability to have a private conversation in my own house isn't one of them.

Not as long as I can turn on a radio or download a podcast on my computer. 

Speaking of Sonos (although this new service is apparently not available in Canada yet and I wonder how many would actually go for it...)

Sonos launches an $8/month streaming radio service

     Thread Starter
 

November 12, 2020 12:48 pm  #12


Re: CFRB Seems To Think This Is The Future Of Radio. Do You Agree?

Hansa wrote:

It would be viable if Rogers and Bell cut the cost of streaming. I suppose it would be possible for them to allow customers to stream Rogers or Bell stations, respectively, for free but the CRTC might have something to say about that. 

Perhaps someone can correct me if I'm off. But I recall some years ago that Bell offered their smartphone customers access to Bell TV for like $10 a month (on their phone only). But the CRTC put an end to it, since Bell wasn't counting the TV streaming usage against their data plan. I believe the CRTC thought that created an unfair advantage or something. 

So perhaps while Bell may enjoy the idea of "free" streaming of iHeartRadio on Bell smartphones, or Rogers with Radio Player.. they may not be allowed.
 

 

November 12, 2020 11:16 pm  #13


Re: CFRB Seems To Think This Is The Future Of Radio. Do You Agree?

torontostan wrote:

Hansa wrote:

It would be viable if Rogers and Bell cut the cost of streaming. I suppose it would be possible for them to allow customers to stream Rogers or Bell stations, respectively, for free but the CRTC might have something to say about that. 

Perhaps someone can correct me if I'm off. But I recall some years ago that Bell offered their smartphone customers access to Bell TV for like $10 a month (on their phone only). But the CRTC put an end to it, since Bell wasn't counting the TV streaming usage against their data plan. I believe the CRTC thought that created an unfair advantage or something. 

So perhaps while Bell may enjoy the idea of "free" streaming of iHeartRadio on Bell smartphones, or Rogers with Radio Player.. they may not be allowed.
 

I believe it was NHL content and it was exclusive to Bell.  You couldn't get it even if you wanted to pay for it with other carriers.

Edit: Found it.  https://openmedia.org/press/item/crtc-calls-bell-out-anticompetitive-practices

Last edited by Prod Guy (November 12, 2020 11:16 pm)

 

November 13, 2020 9:46 am  #14


Re: CFRB Seems To Think This Is The Future Of Radio. Do You Agree?

Prod Guy wrote:

I believe it was NHL content and it was exclusive to Bell.  You couldn't get it even if you wanted to pay for it with other carriers.

Edit: Found it.  https://openmedia.org/press/item/crtc-calls-bell-out-anticompetitive-practices

Oh interesting! I never knew about that one. 

Here's the one I was thinking of.. very similar.