WorldDMB, Project Office
During the keynote on day two of Telematics Update 2014, Roger Lanctot, Strategy Analytics, suggested that ‘Radio is the ghost of Christmas past’. This statement was made to an audience of over 1,100 telematics specialists from the major OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers to professionals involved in all areas of the in-car telematics field.
Radio’s battle for space on the car’s dashboard
His reasoning was based on the Strategy Analytics 2013, Automotive Consumer US Insights, which revealed that radio (AM/FM) now has to compete for space in the car with HD radio, CDs, Internet radio, iPod/Phone and satellite radio. He noted that “Internet radio is not yet drawing consumers from AM/FM radio although 76% of those surveyed listen to internet radio, also listen daily to AM/FM”. The figures for AM /FM radio listening alongside other media are still good with 79% of CD player listeners listening to radio daily as do 53% of satellite radio listeners, good figures for dual radio listening in general for the ghost of Christmas past!
When asked which feature radio listeners (AM/FM) consider a must-have other than radio, 56% of daily radio users consider iPod/smartphone a must-have and 32% of heavy radio users want in-vehicle access to smartphone apps, compared to the 7% who see internet radio as a ‘must-have’. He that something which broadcasters have known for some time in terms of demographic of listeners, males are more likely to listen to connect music than females, younger people aged 18-24 listen to iPods and smartphones daily (45%) with a strong decline in listening to music on this type of device as age increases.
In a more startling revelation, he said that in the same survey “58% of smartphone owners in the U.S. report using apps while driving” which was a growing concern for the automotive industry especially as safety is a major priority for governments and the auto sector.
Radio – the best solution for serving local content and travel information
Mr Lanctot also focused on the benefits radio offers in terms of local content “Daily radio users are likely or very interested in having ‘local’ connected services available through their infotainment system”. The services drivers are most interested in are 70% real time traffic, 65% local gas prices and 61% weather.
Although the research presented was based on figures from the US, some of the information reflects listening habits in Europe, especially those of younger listeners and the services which keep local radio popular. After the session Mr Lanctot concluded ‘A battle is emerging in the telematics industry between the practical and the conceptual. On the practical side are radio and embedded on-board technology. On the conceptual are Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT). Since the Big Data and IoT crowd can’t seem to connect with the car makers, it is a good bet that the practical will continue to remain relevant. But radio only remains relevant as long as there is innovation in the segment. Internet and IP delivered audio content are impacting radio and radio must embrace and fuse with these technologies to survive’ .
The future of radio in the connected car
Nick Piggott, Global Radio was part of a session which focused on ‘Content that Simplifies the Driving Environment’. Following the conference he said “Radio continues to be the most popular source of entertainment in the car, and it was reassuring to hear manufacturers support its continuing presence on the dashboard. I’m sure that initiatives like digital and hybrid radio will allow radio to continue developing and delivering a user experience that matches other connected media in the car.”
Andrew Nash, Automotive Director at Mediamobile expressed his thoughts on the actions needed from the industry. “This year’s TU Munich was well attended by the car manufacturers and with the right attendees. The significant diversity of vision and priorities between OEM representatives was tangible, some proclaiming the arrival of the self-driving car and the need for full connected data exchange between the car and smart city, others focused on solutions for mass produced cars that need dynamic content for a vehicle lifetime. My takeaway was that carmakers desperately need to differentiate their service and feature content without sacrificing their quality and brand image for reliability – so lots of work still to do for everyone in the industry!”
For more information from Telematics Munich visit the WorldDMB Twitter feed #tumunich14
Telematics Munich is Europe’s largest conference and exhibition dedicated to the future of auto mobility. In 2014, the top 100 connected car experts took to the stage to share their vision of the 2020 connected car, in front of a senior level audience of 1100 execs. This is the only place to witness the conversations that will change the face of mobility in Europe.