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“Radio Abides and Radio Thrives”

But auto sector expert Roger Lanctot also notes the battle for listening bandwidth

Radio continues to be the dominant source of content in the car, even in the midst of an expanding roster of listening options.

So says Roger Lanctot, associate director in the global automotive practice at research firm Strategy Analytics.

“Radio is becoming increasingly pervasive, accessible via computers, TVs and, most recently, smartphones — at least those running the Android operating system,” Lanctot writes in a blog post summarizing last week’s Future of Radio Audio Symposium in Washington. He spoke at the event and also took careful notes.

As radio evolves from analog to digital and is integrated with the Internet, he said, listeners will increasingly have access to enhanced content resources while broadcasters will have new audience measurement and listener engagement tools.

“These enhancements are coming to a platform that remains the go-to resource for emergency communications — thanks to its broad reach — as well as the preferred source of in-vehicle infotainment due to its ease of use. While Apple, Microsoft (Cortana), Google, Amazon (Alexa) and IBM (Watson) are spending millions of dollars to create contextualized platforms suited for automotive environments, the radio already delivers a contextualized and location-relevant platform with news, weather, sports and advertising tied to local broadcasters.”

Lanctot concluded, “Radio abides and radio thrives — but the battle for listening bandwidth abides and thrives as well.”

He also commented that streamers such as Pandora and Spotify are “increasingly at a disadvantage in automotive infotainment systems as Apple CarPlay and Alphabet’s Android Auto continue to extend their reach toward integration in upwards of 80% of all new cars.”

Read his commentary.