Ready For The Invasion Of The Pod People? Infinity Is
The new San Francisco station will be programmed entirely by its listeners, and will be available both on the AM dial and streamed online at www.kyouradio.com. "There is a profound shift underway in the way we use technology that allows everyone to have a voice," said Joel Hollander, chairman-CEO of Infinity, which has been aggressively developing new digital radio formats since Hollander was named chief early this year. Infinity has developed a variety of streamed Web radio formats, and last week announced plans to develop a "visual radio" format with Nokia and HP that can transmit both audio and visual content to mobile devices.
Hollander's latest move to embrace podcasting and actually incorporate it as a new form of commercial broadcasting is a genius stroke, that comes as the traditional broadcast radio industry faces incursions from the Web, as well as satellite broadcasters. Podcasting technology, first made popular in late 2004, allows users to create and upload their own audio programs on the Internet, which can be downloaded to multimedia players at a later date. The software also lets users subscribe to their favorite podcasts and have them sent automatically to their players for listening at their convenience. Infinity said such users would now be able to upload podcasts of varying lengths for free at www.kyouradio.com, where they will be eligible to be selected for broadcast. Programming on the station will be determined by listener interests and feedback, and evaluated on a daily basis.
Infinity's announcement came the same day a group of guerrilla marketing executives announced the formation of the International Nanocasting Alliance (INA). Billed as the podcasting community's first international trade organization, the INA will focus on developing commercial applications of podcasting.
"This whole evolution of Internet radio and Podcasting is essentially a massive guerrilla phenomenon," said Jay Conrad Levinson, founder of the Guerrilla Marketing concept, one of the INA's organizers.