The wild and wonderful world of the Internet and traditional radio are once again seeing a convergence. Microsoft’s Zune, direct competitor of the Apple iPod, not only allows you to tune in your favorite FM band station, but is also now rolling out the ability to tag and purchase MP3s of the songs you hear. In addition, while I do not have the details as yet, there is a social media aspect being introduced as well.
Between broadcast and social media, the Zune is leveraging the two most powerful means of discovering new music and tying them directly into the marketplace. It also looks like they are going to start with a strong reach as far as stations are concerned.
According to BizJournals, “as of Tuesday, more than 450 FM radio stations are offering this Song Tagging service.” It only makes sense to assume that as time goes by we will see more station added to a growing list. Another nice thing that factors into this step forward is the fact that the FM tuner in the Zune is fully integrated, as opposed to the various models of the iPod which had to rectify this initial design flaw with an add-on tuner.
It is clear that the manufacturers of the Zune are aware of which side of the bread bears the butter. Also from BizJournals:
“Radio is one of the primary ways people discover new music, which is why we have built an FM tuner into every Zune portable media player,” says Chris Stephenson, general manager of global marketing for Zune.
So as the evolution of radio races towards apotheosis, all I can say is, “Tag! You’re it!”