iPod Killed the Radio Star

I’m usually an early adopter. I can’t resist getting my hands on the latest sports gear and electronics. I don’t know why, but when the iPod was introduced by Apple so many years ago I didn’t bite. I was content to surf the radio dial during my 45 minute commute. AM 580 for the local weather, NPR for national news and then settling on a classic rock or alternative station depending on my mood. Sure, I have iTunes on my home Mac and listen to a wide variety of artists regularly. Maybe I’m a creature of habit. Maybe, heaven forbid, I’m getting old-fashioned. But I never had the urge to buy an iPod and take my music library on that daily commute. Well that’s all changed with the introduction of the new iPod Shuffle. It’s the size of a matchbook with 1GB of storage. The design of the device is Apple-cool and cutting edge, well thought out and for me – irresistible.

I shared news of my purchase with a colleague and he asked “has it changed your life?” I replied “not yet” and didn’t give his question much thought. I loaded my iTunes library on the iPod and have been enjoying my commute more than ever. Then I thought of my kids and how their iPods are a permanent fashion accessory. And being a marketer, I thought of how their not listening to the radio, ever, may impact radio advertising. Not to mention marketing in general. The iPod will likely put radio stations out of business as their ad revenue disappears. Podcasts will rule the day. And portable video will be the medium of choice.

No my new iPod hasn’t changed my life. But the way my kids are marketed to will be nothing like advertising when I was their age thanks to Steve Jobs insanely compelling iPod and the new marketing opportunities it makes possible.