Toward an all-subscription media future
by Doc Searls Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Here's my comment under a story at RadioINK:

All the big group owners are moving from over-the-air to OTT: over the top. In TV, that’s over the top of cable, which replaced over-the-air (OTA) for most people decades ago. In radio, it’s over the top of OTA, via streams and podcasts on the Net. In both cases, the final imagined product is subscription-only, with group owners competing in a silo-vs.-silo way. We see a drift in that direction with iHeart’s urging the listening world onto its app. and we see it more clearly in Entercom pulling its streams off the open Net (so they no longer appear, for example, on the TuneIn app, which prior to that move played all the streams in the world) and isolating them inside its own proprietary app. In the course of that, Entercom is saying “IP addresses on the Net are not the new radio dial at all. In fact there is no radio dial in the digital world. There are only proprietary isolated systems competing against each other for subscribers.” The end state is one where “stations” exist as fossil remnants with call letters and slogans within closed and proprietary subscription systems providing a mix of streams and podcasts. Localization is part of that, but it’s still a freaking mess while the future arrives, unevenly.