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What might be in store for radio at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show

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The 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show kicks off on Tuesday and runs until Friday. As usual, I will be monitoring the announcements and news from the show for anything of import to radio, broadcast and online, podcasting and streaming.

Announcements for the show are just getting started. Monday is “press day” at CES, when there’s a heady stream of press conferences and press releases, which should reveal a large percentage of the show’s announcements.

Pandora’s CEO Joe Kennedy is scheduled to present at the Citi 2013 Global Internet, Media and Technology Conference happening with CES. His presentation is scheduled for 2:15 PST on Monday, the 7th. It will be streamed live at the Pandora investor relations site. There hasn’t been any word about what he’ll be talking about, though I suspect he’ll be discussing Pandora’s fight to have its listenership ranked along side terrestrial radio, as well as a Nielsen exec’s recent statements saying that after its Arbitron acquisition the company will start monitoring internet radio services.

While Pandora still rules the roost in online radio, a prominent Apple analyst says he believes that the company will debut its competitor service, which he dubs “iRadio,” this year. Apple doesn’t participate in CES, so it’s unlikely we’ll have an announcement this week.

In terms of hardware, I don’t expect to hear about any monumental new radio gear this CES. Internet radios continue to be a niche item, and HD Radio seems to hold little appeal outside of car radios. There will probably be some product updates announced, but I don’t imagine anything truly new or groundbreaking.

However, I predict we’ll hear about more Bluetooth-enabled devices that make listening to mobile devices even easier by cutting the cord between your smartphone and car or home stereo. That’s the kind of step forward that will greatly assist the growth of listening to internet radio on the go.



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