The old guard media are on the way out and there’s no way to stop it.

Yesterday, I had a meeting with the president of one of Japan’s leading internet companies. They run the biggest and most popular blogging portal in Japan as well as many other internet related business and internet media broadcasting. Their business is exploding.

In our short meeting yesterday, we discussed television and radio. He had a few words. He said very directly, “They have no future at all.”

In these past few weeks, I’ve been working with some other people who are very much in touch with internet broadcasting as well as experienced in traditional media. Here’s some information that I gathered that I’d like to share with you:

Did you know that nearly all smart phones have FM radio built in to them but the makers do not turn it on because they have determined that there is not enough demand for it?

Did you know that all Japanese car manufacturers stopped putting FM radios in cars as a standard item in 2010?It’s now an option; you have to pay for it if you want it.

Did you know that there is not a single company in Japan that manufactures FM radios anymore?

According to a recent survey of Japanese young people by one of Japan’s largest publishing companies, people between the ages of 13 to 30 showed that only 11% had a TV in their bedroom. Less than 7% had a radio.

But over 98% of those people in that demographic had a smart device or PC in their bedrooms.

Now you know how and why some Japanese internet video sites can get 5 million viewers for some shows. The vast majority of young people do not watch TV or listen to the radio on any sort of a regular basis…

By they way, Niconico Douga (Japan’s version of Youtube) is the #8 most popular internet page in Japan, above both Twitter and Facebook…

And yesterday, this:

Norway to Become First Country to Switch Off FM Radio in 2017

In what will likely be the opening move in a global transition to digital radio, Norway has announced it will shut down its FM band.

Norway will start turning off FM radio on Jan. 11, 2017, and plans to stop transmission of the last FM signal to the country’s northernmost regions by Dec. 13 of that year. The announcement, made by their Ministry of Culture, makes Norway the first country to do away entirely with FM radio. The move is intended to save money and allow a full transition to digital radio, which Norway argues will give listeners “access to more diverse and pluralistic radio content and enjoy better sound quality and new functionality.”

In its statement, the Norwegian government said the cost of transmitting national radio channels through the FM network is eight times higher than via the Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) system, the standard digital radio technology used across Europe.

Wow! A digital radio station can be operated at 1/8th the cost of a traditional FM station?

The writing is on the wall for FM radio. It has been a wonderful partner and part of my life.

I love FM radio. I hate to see what is happening. But progress shall not be stopped.


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