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Connected Cars Among Digital Strategies Shared at NAB Show

Seen as a key battlefield for radio

L-R: Jessica Jerrick, iHeartMedia, Joe D’Angelo, Xperi and David Layer, NAB. Photo by Paul Kaminski

One of the most popular sessions at NAB Show 2017 was “Digital Strategies Exchange for Radio.” Panels in that session discussed audience measurement with Nielsen, monetizing digital products, psychology of millennial behavior, the future of podcasting (hint: the form of how a podcast is distributed may be different from the RSS feed used today) and mobile and automotive digital developments.

On the automotive front, one of the best-attended panels dealt with the state of the connected car. NAB Senior Director of Advanced Engineering and Technology David Layer shared some of his research at the North American International Auto Show on what exactly is in a typical center stack of the dashboard. “I looked in 41 different vehicles; I discovered that they all had AM/FM radios, and SiriusXM, by the way, except for the BMW i3, which has no AM because it’s an all-electric vehicle, other electric vehicles were able to make AM work.” Seventy-eight percent of those vehicles had HD Radio reception capability.”

As for the user interface for radio controls, “Almost a third of the cars on the floor had no button that a consumer would recognize as a button that would turn on a radio. That’s something we’re looking at.”

Joe D’Angelo of Xperi (formerly DTS) brought some context to the connected car landscape, and explained his company’s efforts to keep broadcast radio’s dominant position in the car, citing simplicity, localism, economics, and programming and choice.

iHeart Media Executive Vice President of Business Development and Partnership Jessica Jerrick explained the company’s digital strategies as their way to help future-proof radio’s dominance in the dashboard. “At iHeart, our brand strategy is quite simple: To provide entertainment content to consumers wherever, whenever and however they want it.”