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Connected Cars, Connected Audiences, Connected Communities

Radio Luncheon sees Delilah inducted and Burnell talk cars

Scott Burnell

The connected car is a nexus for the combination of media, entertainment and technology. NAB Show Radio Luncheon keynote speaker Scott Burnell, Ford Motor Co.’s Global Lead for Business Development and Partner Management, Ford Developer program drew a roadmap during his talk, weaving in facts about autonomous cars (hint: they are on the road today), media consumption and where and how radio is listened to.

Burnell quoted a 2016 study from Infinite Dial: “Eighty-four percent of respondents who were 18 or over chose AM/FM radio as their primary source of audio in the car.” The study went on to state that in 2016, 32% of all households do not have a radio, compared with 6% in 2008. Burnell shared more of the research which showed 12% of all vehicles in the U.S. were considered connected cars, whether by a modem or a tethered smartphone. He suggested that the number would increase to nearly 85% by 2025, given the average life cycle of the American car is 11 years.

Burnell says despite an upsurge in streaming among younger consumers, broadcast radio has advantages and opportunities that streaming does not: The ability to take advantage of technologies, the listeners and local markets, and people. “Humans want interactions with humans; they want interactions with other humans. They want friends, family and someone they trust to tell them what is good and what they should be checking out.”


The newest member of the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame, nationally syndicated radio personality Delilah, spoke about another kind of connection during her induction; that of her and her audience: “I listen, I watch, I experience and then I try to weave together a story that will reflect the truth of a situation.”

The NAB Crystal Radio Awards for outstanding public service were also presented at the luncheon.