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‘Reach 2.0 Is Table Stakes for Radio’

Fred Jacobs expands on how radio should approach a rapidly changing consumer world

Ford is making it easier than the FCC does to acquire a broadcast license, says Fred Jacobs, capturing his excitement over developments at CES last week.

As we’ve reported, Ford chose Jacobs’ company JacAPPS as its recommended mobile app development house for the new Ford Developer Program. “Now as we move into the car, Ford’s AppLink has become the first pathway where anyone and everyone can develop apps for their Sync-enabled vehicles,” Jacobs writes in a followup. “But even if you adapt your apps to be compatible with Ford’s voice commands, you will still want the opportunity to develop apps for the other automakers’ systems.”

He says based on what he saw at CES, other carmakers will eventually open their systems to accepting outside apps. “And so in order to enjoy distribution with all these automotive brands, radio companies will more than likely have to repeat this process several times. For all their brands.”

He calls that phase “Reach 2.0” and cautions that it won’t be a seamless process but says it is a minimum entry requirement — “table stakes” — for radio to play in this fast-evolving environment.

“We should be thankful that as Best Buy clears its shelves of the last table radios and Walkmans, there are incredibly cool gadgets that everyone is salivating over that will provide distribution outlets for broadcast radio stations.” But broadcasters, he said, need strategies to monetize these new platforms.

Read his piece.