wave.JPGIn a story that highlights the competitive landscape for listeners ears, and how terrestrial radio can compete on more than a local scale, we see a new battle-front form. Inside Radio reported today an interesting tidbit that foreshadows the future of the audio entertainment landscape, or at least one aspect of it.

We have all heard the "terrestrial radio is about localism". The mantra has been preached time and time again, but while the "local" chant is being spoken, terrestrial radio is also seeing massive growth on the Internet, which carries national, if not global implications.

New York City recently saw Emmis's smooth jazz station CD 101.9 switch formats, and move their programming to an HD channel in the market. HD, without broad penetration, means that many New york listeners will be without smooth jazz unless they have an HD receiver. CBS, to counter the move began advertising a Los Angeles smooth Jazz station (KTWV) on their stable of New York stations.

The ads entice listeners to get their fill of smooth jazz via an Internet feed. The fact of the matter is that on line listening is an ever increasing segment for consumers. Radio stations that tout localism are now marketing well beyond the reach that they used to. The fact that this move is being advertised and promoted points to a shift in the competitive landscape that did not exist 5 years ago, and will only grow in the coming years.

In this case, terrestrial radio is marketing against terrestrial radio. In the future, it is not out of the question that terrestrial radio will use the Internet to broaden their business base. Will these moves be a shift away from "localism"? Only time will tell. Already many stations cater to a national feel with only bumpers and advertisements being dedicated to the local market.

No position CBS, No Position Emmis