By Janet Pinkerton
Free Association: A meditation on the consumer electronics industry.
Last month, I wrote "Hey, satellite radio is cool!" It still is. Probably. XM Satellite Radio said STMicroelectronics nailed its much-needed chipsets. Sirius signed Sanyo and Sony as hardware suppliers. Good deal.
But I wonder what happens to all of those smart regional retailers who use demographic-specific radio—the jazz stations, the NPR-types, the hipster boomers—for efficient advertising. These demographics for many reasons are likely to buy into satellite radio, Internet radio, satellite video. Globally available, high-quality audio and video media services may create a problem, long term, for the retail marketers, as newspapers lose their punch with the consumer interest and circulation drops. How will a regional retailer get the word out to a local demographic?