The death of radio has been predicted since the advent of television, yet somehow this industry has survived.
Music radio is an easy way for people to expose themselves to new artists. And you never discover any new music if you only listen to your own MP3s. A service have me hooked and think about how much longer music radio can survive.
Last.fm is a free service that has music stations as well. It learns what music you like by paying attention to what you listen to.
Once you’ve listened to enough songs to provide good data, Last.fm starts putting people in your neighborhood. These are folks who have tastes similar to yours. It’s a great way to find new artists. You can also listen to neighborhood radio stations that play songs based on what you and your neighbors like, and you can find similar artists by clicking through to artist pages. If you have friends using Last.fm, you can see what music they’ve been listening to.
So will this services kill your radio? Not yet. I still have use my computer to use the service. Wi-Fi isn’t quite the thing yet – and I’d look silly on the train with my laptop open listening to tunes.
But even when you can find wireless Internet everywhere, my guess is radio will merge into the Internet as the Internet merges into the world around us. You won’t be able to pick a day radio dies. Instead, radio will just come with a lot more features and, hopefully, improved quality and entertainment value.