In his column on the Ibiquity website, Mr. Struble points out that there are a growing number of consumer electronics products that will compete directly with traditional radio (which Struble refers to as AM/FM). He also addresses the current economic challenges facing AM/FM, saying:
In my view, AM/FM is having such business difficulty now because it is suffering from both cyclical and secular issues. The shorter term cyclical issues - the current broad recession and the bad state of some radio company balance sheets - will get better over time. The long term secular issues - the intense new competition from different sources of mobile information and entertainment and the myriad new choices that consumers and advertisers have - are not going away.
His point is that the recession presents one set of problems and the introduction of new competition to radio presents another set of problems. He says that HD Radio is not a "silver bullet," but simply an element in a more comprehensive strategy.
Indeed, this is true. What Mr. Struble calls "AM/FM" today may well be unrecognizable in just a few short years; indeed, it will be an amalgam of traditional analog radio, digital broadcast radio, IP-delivered radio, and web presence. For some broadcasters, these elements will be intertwined to present something that could be considered to be a completely different medium. Others will stick with one or two of these elements because that is how they can best service their audience.