Radio iPods expected on Wednesday
vunet.com is reporting that the iPod is gaining WiFi support tomorrow. To be more precise they claim that new iPods will be able to receive digital radio, and will include a 'buy-now' function to allow the user to download and buy tracks as they are being played. This will finally turn the iPod into a connected device, something I predicted back in 2006 and then when it did not happen I made the same prediction again in 2007.
In my 2006 predictions about the iPod I said the following:
"With respect to music, I can visualize many new CD quality commercial free radio stations that are made available for the iPod for free simply because the iTunes store can now be accessed from the iPod and so impulse purchases can be made as one listens to the radio (yes Sirius and XM should be very worried since their business model is under a serious threat)."
I still believe that iPods with live Net Radio are bad news for Sirius and XM. If WiMax were here and the iPod was an always connected device it would have been much worse for them, to the point that they would be extinct, unless they reinvent themselves. Until WiMax arrives however, they still have time to think about this and maybe come up with creative ways to survive and then again maybe not - only a handful of companies can adjust in light of such a threat to their core business and I would not bet on these two.