lekamp

Radio will soon be just one of several entertainment and information options to the U.S. driver

Monday, December 10, 2012 - 12:30pm

Thursday was the second half of Arbitron's Client Conference, and two topics that emerged of interest to RAIN readers: in-vehicle Net radio and the importance of mobile to radio's digital strategy (as Tom Taylor Now reported on Friday).

It's clear the day is coming that broadcasters will be competing head-to-head with Internet-delivered entertainment and information in the car. Valerie Shuman (left) is VP/Industry Programs for the Connected Vehicle Trade Association. She told the conference we'll soon see, as Taylor reports, "a virtual dashboard and software-defined radio" (think of a device where its capabilities are easily updated and enhanced, as opposed to being limited by whatever "hardware" it uses).

Jacobs Media consultant Fred Jacobs (also pictured left) spoke too. He recommended radio programers to go and get the same in-car experience your audience will soon have, with a test drive of a car equipped with a connected dashboard system.

"You need to understand what the consumer is going through, to be an effective programmer," he said. That's one point, by the way, of his five-point plan for radio programmers, managers, and owners to make sure they're ready for for the "connected car revolution," which he offers in his blog.

"Radio needs to understand what the automakers – and aftermarket companies – are thinking, and how it will impact the listening experience – or should I say – the audio consumption experience," Jacobs writes, here.

Even out of the car, mobile is becoming the heart of digital radio listening. Clear Channel President of Digital Brian Lakamp (right) revealed to the conference audience that more than half of iHeartRadio usage is now mobile (that number is now 77% for Pandora). His company's research shows users of iHeartRadio's "custom radio" feature (its "personalizable" streams) "spent more time with live radio than they did two years ago... digital is 'in addition to,' not 'instead of' broadcast radio."

Read more of Tom Taylor's coverage on Day Two of the Arbitron Client Conference here.

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