One industry which is about to be disrupted by technology is radio, particularly in-car radio, a platform which will radically change once connected cars force the convergence of radio as we know today with social and mobile functionality.
Many media analysts have identified that there are plenty of untapped opportunities for radio technology but when you look at the emergence of the likes of Pandora, Spotify and iTunes radio to name but a few, and that most new cars will now be shipping as connected cars, one wonders how long radio stations have got before they have to innovate to survive.
A connected car will have similar functionality to your phone, so you'll have more options than ever for entertainment while you travel. This will potentially challenge a lot of existing radio stations’ advertising revenue models as they move to a setup similar to how online advertising currently works.
So if newspapers are a cautionary tale for how digital technology affected their ad model, then one wonders how long before radio stations take a proactive step to get ahead of the disruption that is coming.
While many of the online streaming services give fantastic curated playlists and integrate social, they are missing one vital ingredient, real human chatter and character.
People who listen to radio daily say that they build up a relationship with the radio presenters, they almost become the passengers in the car with them as they travel to work or provide company in the house while you go about your business.
Radio as we know it today still has a lot to offer, however the industry needs to look at moving their model to something that is more user centric rather than simply broadcasting before the likes of Spotify and iTunes do it for them by taking advantage of what the connected car will bring.
If you look at some of the core benefits that the likes of internet radio services, mobile apps and social networks provide for users and converged them with what we know as radio today, what might that sound like?
We had a debate internally in RMG on the topic of what in-car radio in the future might sound like, which we have captured below.
"Create your own personal radio station based on your music integrated with input from a selected DJ of your choice."
"Talk to the radio station and respond to music choices it gives you or enter competitions by simply talking to the station."
"Catch up on shows and debates you missed or just want to hear again through radio's on demand service, similar to desktop player services."
"Respond to ads that you hear through voice control, so you can ask the company more about the product they were advertising or even call them directly."
"Sync your Spotify account with the radio station so they know your music preferences, when the time comes for a new song to be played it will be based on your tastes."
"Share what you're listening to with other drivers through voice control or import other people’s recommended playlists to listen to while you drive."
These are only a taster for what may come, if you consider what insurance companies, cloud computing, car service brands can offer, we’re well aware that there are plenty of future opportunities, so if you have some further ideas you'd like to add then message us @RMGDublin.
Written by Dermot O'Shea / Digital Architect
I head up Digital Strategy, Content and Social in RMG
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