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Does AOL Radio Mean The Extinction Of FM Radio?

By Brian Fuller

Online radio services such as AOL Radio, Pandora, Slacker and have become rather popular lately and are even available on many portable wireless devices such as cell phones. Does this mean the end of traditional radio stations? I will look at the impact of streaming radio on the radio landscape.

I appears that local radio stations are on their way to become extinct. They are being threatened by the advance of online and satellite radio. These competing services typically offer hundreds of music and entertainment channels. Some of the channels are even commercial-free. The internet has enabled access to a virtually unlimited number of online radio channels.

Many online radio services such as Pandora are now available on portable devices such as cell phones and other wireless audio transmitter devices via appropriate apps. This adds mobility to online radio which has still been the trump card of local radio stations.

AOL Radio which boasts 200 plus music channels of 25 genres uses CBS radio as its underlying platform. It also offers access to 150 national CBS radio stations. The underlying platform “” also has a feature that allows listeners to create their own radio stations by entering preferred albums, artists etc. The individual tracks of each music channel are also available for storage on an iPod through 3rd-party software such as iGetMusic.

Other online music services have followed suit and are offering similar customized music channels. Pandora and allow listeners to enter the name of an artist and then play music by randomly selecting titles by the chosen artist as well as other titles which are similar in genre or character. However, most online radio broadcasters lack the ability to create fully customized radio stations such as the “” platform.

Are traditional radio stations destined to become extinct by the continuous reduction of market share due to online radio? Online radio has proved useful in particular for niche broadcasters due to the inherently lower broadcasting cost compared with local radio stations.

While the variety of stations is a benefit to listeners, it is at the same time diluting the audio and online radio broadcasters are finding it difficult to attract a reasonably large number of listeners and be profitable. At the same time, however, there is less pressure to insert commercials due to the lower costs of broadcasting compared with traditional stations. This has made online radio content more appealing than terrestrial radio.

However, local radio has one big advantage over satellite and online radio. That is local content such as local news and events. One drawback of local radio has been the poor audio quality of FM broadcasts. However, that is being remedied by the recent introduction of digital radio broadcasts such as HD radio. It is hard to predict a clear winner in the battle between online and local radio since both offer their own unique content and offer high mobility which are the key factors that will determine the fate of each services.

You can find additional details about AOL Radio and wireless audio transmitter products from Amphony’s website.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Fuller, Brian "Does AOL Radio Mean The Extinction Of FM Radio?." Does AOL Radio Mean The Extinction Of FM Radio?. 3 Jul. 2010. 30 Oct 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Fuller, B (2010, July 3). Does AOL Radio Mean The Extinction Of FM Radio?. Retrieved October 30, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Fuller, Brian "Does AOL Radio Mean The Extinction Of FM Radio?"

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