Those high-powered smartphones that can access the Web from virtually anywhere may be the best thing that’s happened in years to one of the oldest and most beleaguered of traditional media: radio, reports USA Today.

Local stations are racing to create software applications — called apps — and appealing talk and music programming to help them reach the burgeoning number of consumers who see their iPhones, BlackBerrys and Droids as portable entertainment devices.

With the help of apps, smartphone users can listen to live broadcasts from hundreds of radio stations as well as services such as Pandora that offer music tailored to the listener’s taste.

“It’s extremely meaningful,” Clear Channel Executive Vice President Evan Harrison says. About a year after the No. 1 radio company introduced its iHeartRadio app for iPhones, phone users account for 10% of its digital audience.

Photo by vierdrie.

Originally posted by Rich Whittle on January 3, 2010 in Ideas.

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