Think Your Fight Is With Pandora? Think Again
January 27, 2015
Image: Tel Aviv
Pretty Tel Aviv. Not shown: Elton John loving taxi driver.
Tel Aviv might look nice, but it has pretty awful traffic. It's probably no coincidence that Waze, the user-generated traffic route planner, was developed here. (I saw it used in almost every taxi, and even when given a lift by one of the folk from IDC Radio).
The taxi driver was finishing his lunch. A happy chap in his late twenties, wearing fashionable sunglasses and a white t-shirt, he started the journey by arguing with his control room about how much the journey should have been - arguing in my favor. "It shouldn't have been that much," he said to me. And then started talking.
After expressing some disappointment that I didn't particularly support any football team, discussion went to music. "Which bit of the UK are you from?", he asked. "London", I said. "Ah! Elton John! He is from London!" beamed the taxi driver.
"I love Elton John!" he added.
He wasn't finished. In order to demonstrate his love for Reginald Kenneth Dwight's crooning, and ignoring the speed he was doing, he reached for his iPhone, which was connected via Bluetooth to his car stereo. Opening up YouTube, he did a search for Elton John, selected one of the tracks, and put his iPhone back down. I was then treated to a low-quality bootleg recording of one of Elton John's later oeuvres, sounding like a dreadful pub singer. The taxi driver beamed, happy to share Pinner's most famous son through the speakers of his taxi at relatively high volume.
And then we heard another track.
And another one.
And then, thank heavens, the journey finished.
As I repeat often: forget Spotify and Pandora. YouTube is the (free) service that most people, especially younger people, use for music. If almost every song is available on YouTube - even ones prohibited from any on-demand use - then it's YouTube, and not the music services, that you need fear.
Google's recently rumored to be launching a wireless carrier in the US - and you can guess that high bandwidth costs will decrease. They're doing it with two carriers, too, so that'll help with coverage and data speeds.
Recent numbers from Edison Research, meanwhile, appear to say that teenagers now use streaming services much more than radio.
So perhaps now is the time to focus on what radio has to offer besides just a linear stream of music: because there are a lot of places to get music for free these days.