Peter Smyth: The New Pushbutton War
December 1, 2010 at 7:30 AM (PT)
In his monthly column, GREATER MEDIA Pres./CEO PETER SMYTH updates what used to be called radio's "pushbutton war." The technology has changed, but radio is still fighting for the listeners attention -- especially in cars. Writes SMYTH:
"For those of you old enough to remember, radio stations used to engage in pitched battles to be the listener’s first preset on their car radio. Back in those days, it was called a push button and was a mechanical device that stopped the tuning dial at your station’s frequency. On most cars, there were six of them and, to really compete, your station had to own one of those six positions. Many contests and promotions were concocted to encourage listeners to 'lock it in and rip off the knob.' It all seems quite quaint now with digital tuning, seek and scan, and tiers of presets now the norm on most cars.
"A quick look forward reveals that there is another pushbutton war to be waged in the not-too-distant future. Auto manufacturers, receiver makers, software companies and smartphone carriers are all jockeying to control consumer attention and choice with a new generation of connected in-dash devices which are far more complex than today’s audio sound systems."
Read the full article here.