Here at Melbourne Classical Radio we see online delivery as the future of radio, and predict a massive shift to online radio listening over the next 2-5 years. We predict this will occur at a pace similar to the speed at which CDs are being replaced by music downloads, and terrestrial television is being replaced by online delivery. These six trends will drive the shift to online radio:
- Widespread adoption of smartphones and tablets. The world now has more than two billion smartphone users. We all have them now and cannot live without them. When did you last see someone carrying a portable radio?
- Improving coverage and reduced cost of 4G networks. 4G is not everywhere yet but coverage keeps getting better. Most people in urban areas can now use a 4g connection to listen to online radio while they commute.
- Improving broadband speeds in homes and offices. In Australia the roll out of the National broadband Network (NBN) continues to boost broadband speeds and drive the consumption of online media.
- Growing provision of free Wi-Fi in cities and on buses and trains. The number of free WiFi hot-spots is predicted to reach 350 million by the end of 2017, or one for every 20 people on the planet.
- Internet connected cars. Market intelligence firm ABI Research predicts Ethernet penetration in new cars worldwide to grow from 1% in 2014 to 40% by 2020. It will simply become easier to play internet radio in your car than to tune in to FM.
- The growing puplarity of connected home audio technology such as Sonos, Airplay, Chromecast and smart TV. These technologies connect the internet to your home audio and allow you to control the music in your home via an app on your smartphone or tablet. Once you tire of your music collection, you can switch to one of the thousands of internet radio stations now available.