Category: Automotive

02/08

No AM Radio? Automakers Should Listen To Their Customers

Now I am as pro-technology as anyone you'll find in the audio space, but the reason to be pro-technology is to be pro-consumer. Because any technology that doesn't serve the interests and desires of consumers is a solution that, by definition, nobody wants. And the only thing worse than not being wanted is being UNwanted. So it is with the ridiculous decision of BMW and Tesla to dispense with AM radio in some of their recent EV vehicle lines. Not surprisingly, some consumers are up in arms over this, as detailed in this incredibly poorly written piece in something called … [Read more...]

01/04

Your New Auto Dashboard Debuts This Month

In a preview of CES, The Hollywood Reporter cuts to the chase - the most fundamental reason why the technology of the car dashboard is bound to change no matter what the power players of the radio industry desire: Car buyers—particularly millennials—are no longer as susceptible to the [auto] industry’s traditional marketing tropes of styling, horsepower and handling. Instead, they see the car as an extension of their digital lives, and increasingly demand that it mesh seamlessly with their smart phones, tablets and other personal tech. A Compass Intelligence survey of smart phone-owning … [Read more...]

08/28

The Nail in HD Radio’s Coffin – And What It Means For You

From Tom Taylor Now: A site named GMAuthority says among the changes for the [Chevrolet] Traverse, “HD Radio [is] removed.” There’s more. For the 2015 Silverado truck, GMAuthority says “HD radio feature removed from all radios.” Same for the 2015 GMC Sierra truck, here. For the high-end Buick Enclave, the previous “Color Touch AM/FM/SiriusXM/HD Radio with CD player” is replaced by “AM/FM/SiriusXM radio with CD player.” No mention of HD. As for the Chevy Impala, no HD, and SiriusXM also appears to be missing. So is GM’s in-house OnStar – but there’s a visible reason for that. The GMAuthority … [Read more...]

08/13

Chevrolet’s Plan for Built-In Wi-Fi In Your Car

There's a tendency for some broadcasters to put too much faith in the idea that consumers will prefer traditional radio over the online variety because of scarce and expensive bandwidth. But the reality is that bandwidth is neither that scarce nor that expensive, when compared to the value derived from it. And one way to circumvent the limitations of your mobile phone's bandwidth altogether is to access the net from another hotspot. Like, say, your car. That's exactly Chevrolet's plan. It's already on display in the 2015 Malibu and Impala, and it's coming soon to fourteen more 2015 … [Read more...]

06/30

The New Auto Dashboard: Is Radio Screwed?

Last week, Google announced Android Auto, which - like Apple's CarPlay - aims to fully fulfill the promise of the so-called connected car. Watch this video to see an illustration of how the platform integrates music, both from Google Play and from third party apps like Pandora or iHeartRadio: So what does this mean for radio? Well let's take a step back. Broadcasters have been obsessed over the dashboard lately because they smell big trouble. But the trouble is much bigger than whatever you're sniffing, gang. Here is my assessment of where we are and where we're heading. … [Read more...]

04/07

Radio’s REAL Problem on the New Auto Dashboard

Yesterday I wrote that some auto industry analysts believe radio needs to be easy to find and use on the new auto dashboard because ease of discovery and use will trump any discussion of how good or bad the actual content is. In other words, consumers are not likely to seek out great content they care about unless it's first easy to find and use. While it's certainly true that making anything easier to find and use promotes both discovery and use, is that even within radio's power in the new dash (unless we pay for that prime access)? In the auto context, radio is only a distribution … [Read more...]

04/06

Radio’s Spot on the New Dashboard – Time to Do a Deal?

This past week I had a conversation with someone knowledgeable in the auto technology space: "The dash is getting crowded and complicated," she argued, "and the harder to find a radio station is the less apt folks will be to listen to it." "But if the content is compelling enough, they will seek it out," I replied. "Ease of use trumps compelling content," she argued back. "It has to be easy to find and use first, and some of these new dashboards don't even have an FM/AM button." Now this is abjectly true: You can't listen to what you can't find. But what are the consequences of … [Read more...]

11/06

What’s the Future of Radio in the Connected Car?

What does the crystal ball predict about the future of the so-called "connected car" and radio's place in it? That was the purpose of my conversation with Toby Trevarthen, VP Monetization for Aha by Harman, a key provider of platforms and apps to automakers and the "connected" car. Here are two of the key questions I discussed with Toby: What will the auto dashboard look like in five years? What is the role of radio in the future of that dashboard? We talked about what's really on the horizon: a reimagining of the car and, more to the point, the time consumers spend in that car. … [Read more...]

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