Mossberg Stresses Content, Rips RIAA In NAB Technology Talk
April 25, 2006 at 2:05 PM (PT)
Sounding a hopeful note stressing the value of content in the new media world, WALL STREET JOURNAL technology columnist WALT MOSSBERG told the NAB2006 Radio Luncheon that "it's not the technology that matters, it's what the technology enables and delivers."
MOSSBERG noted that "disruptive technology does enable new forms of media, but history shows these new forms of media do not kill off existing media," citing the fact that TV did not kill off radio. He suggested that people think of the Internet as a utility "like the electrical grid" rather than "an activity you do on your PC," adding that the Net as a topic will fade into the background while content -- radio programming included -- will come to the forefront and other objects, like appliances, will be connected to the Net. He also noted that he "wouldn't buy a Bose radio for my living room" but did buy a networked Mac Mini to play music and video, and pointed towards the cell phone as the "most exciting" device of the moment, citing the increasing convergence of computer and entertainment into the phone.
MOSSSBERG decried the "Soviet ministries" of cable and cell phone companies for forcing consumers to buy only devices and services those companies allow to be used on their systems. He suggested that "if and when" the companies are forced to open their systems to other devices, "we'll get tremendous advances in technology."
Faring worse in MOSSBERG's eyes are the record labels; MOSSBERG ripped the RIAA for providing "cases on how not to react to disruptive technology that will be read in business schools for a hundred years," suing its own customers and asserting "all kinds of new contractural rights." And noting that APPLE has sold over 50 million iPods, MOSSBERG told radio industry leaders "you've got to find a way to beat that iPod" and asserted that the industry's future is not in providing music formats with disc jockeys but rather in other forms of audio programming.