The car “is our number one listening location and our number one advertiser,” says Jacobs Media and JacApps executive Paul Jacobs.
He told attendees of the Radio and Internet Newsletter Summit in Las Vegas that’s why the car is essential to radio. “Radio is no longer two buttons on the dash. In these big-screen entertainment systems, finding the radio is an option.”
Addressing the industry scuttlebutt that asked whether radio would someday be left out of the dash, Jacobs said, “We talk to car companies. They love radio.” And it remains a big part of how automakers view the dash going forward, he said.
However the industry needs to take a “much more intense view of our relationship with the car,” meaning pay more attention to the dashboard user-interface with radio and ultimately the advertiser interface. “That’s what the car companies want” from the traditional radio industry, Jacobs said.
TuneIn executive Carl Rohling said with his service, listeners can hear 70,000 streamed stations ranging from podcasts to so-called long-tail content. He admitted it hasn’t been easy to implement the service into the vehicle.
It’s difficult to develop an app for “every car stack” says Entercom representative Amy Van Hook, noting that the cost for developing one app can range from $400,000 to more than one million dollars. Entercom’s strategy is to have every station individually branded. The broadcaster works with JacApps to get its mobile phone applications in the car and with Triton for data integration.
Time-shifted content in the car is important, noted Van Hook. “The DVR has changed consumers’ expectations” and lifestyles change for individuals in their twenties to those in their thirties and forties, leading to differences in how much time they have to consume radio and how they want to do that.