Even the established tech giants are embracing the Era of the Subscription. You can get unlimited amounts of almost any virtual thing you want for roughly $10 a month: movies (Netflix, Hulu), music (Spotify, Rdio), and storage (Dropbox, Box). BloombergBusinessweek, May 2012
Innovation comes slowly to public radio member programs. For many reasons, systems and practices at most stations are much the same today as in 2002 – despite numerous fundamental changes that have altered how station audiences access and consume content.
yet, 2012 looks nothing like 2002 when we consider how Americans now access news content. In 2002, Pew’s News In America survey reported that 25% of Americans accessed news content online at a desktop computer at home or work. Podcasts 2005; iphone and android in 2007; first kindle 2007. In 2010, the internet surpassed print newspapers as a source for national and international news. In Pew’s December 2011 survey, four in ten Americans reported getting “most of their national and international news” from the Internet.
Sustaining programs are not new; many stations have “accidental” Sustainer programs that date back many years and today include three or four percent of their members.