The overwhelming push-back after the NAB tried to force through a mobile phone FM chip requirement suggests that the proverbial snowball in hell has a better chance of success.
Amateurishly handled, the effort not only failed at its goal, it created a backlash in the form of the Congressional Creativity and Innovation Resolution.
Now with the NAB having to play defense, it unleashes Radio Rocks my Phone, a campaign just as terribly misguided as every other NAB effort on behalf of radio beginning with the unforgettable Radio 2020 effort.
The purpose of Radio Rocks my Phone is to get listeners to demand an FM chip in mobile phones. The NAB wants people to write their representatives.
The notion that listeners will write their Congressional representatives on behalf of radio to force a legislated FM chip solution is the height of radio egocentrism. If people are going to write their Congressmen, it isn’t going to be to demand an FM chip.
As the NAB’s own website illustrates, there are already 34 FM equipped mobile phones.
If radio really wants to get an FM chip on every new phone, it is going to have to find a market-based solution.
Cell phone manufacturers are extremely competitive. If they believe a feature is going to give them a marketing advantage over their competitors, they will jump at the chance.
Microsoft has had a couple of false starts with mobile phones. However, their latest operating system, Windows Phone 7, is getting good reviews.
At the system’s roll-out Engadget noted:
Part of what makes Windows Phone 7 a departure for Microsoft is that the company is taking a much bigger role in dictating what hardware is allowed to run the OS. Microsoft has a very clear picture of what they want these units to be built like.
One of Microsoft’s requirements is an FM chip.
If radio wants an FM chip in every mobile phone, the solution is to make Windows Phone 7 a huge hit. AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint all sell Windows 7 phones.
Make Windows Phone 7 broadcast radio’s official phone. Use radio's power to help make Windows Phone 7 the new standard mobile feature package.
If the NAB partnered with Microsoft, there would be no need for RIAA back-room deals and contentious legislation.
The truth is Microsoft has a history of supporting broadcast while radio squandered the opportunity.
The company’s Zune was the only audio player to make HD Radio standard. Microsoft got no support from radio, no endorsement, and now the Zune is no more.
Radio has a mobile OS company that makes FM standard on its phones, and radio ought to step up to the plate and help make Windows Phone 7 a success.
The TuneIn software streams Internet radio from more than 50,000 AM and FM radio stations over Wi-Fi or a mobile broadband connection. The Windows Phone 7 version integrates with the handset’s internal FM radio to save battery life or listen to local radio programs.
We have the phone. We have the app. Now all we need is to get radio's persuasive powers behind it.
Partnering with Microsoft and supporting Windows Mobile 7 is far more likely to achieve the goal of putting FM chips in mobile phones than the NAB’s recent quixotic efforts.