In-car radio is under attack!

The key to success is making audio come alive, agree the speakers from the panel on the future of radio in cars hosted by Radioplayer.

​​The discussion started with Laurence Harrison, Director of Automotive Partnerships with Radioplayer presenting their car radio app, which he calls “the future for radio in-car”. The company is connecting radio broadcasters and it provides them contact with partners and, most importantly, car manufacturers.

Harrison stressed the importance of working with hybrid radio combining AM/FM and online experience. Radioplayer is focusing on this type of radio to benefit broadcasting value.

Radioplayer’s automotive partners include Cariad representing Audi or the Volkswagen group and Harrison announced a new hybrid radio partnership, which has started with the Renault group. This means that Radioplayer now covers over 40 % of the European car share.

After the presentation, the host of this panel discussion Matt Deegan, the co-founder of Folder media, encouraged his panelists in a thought-provoking discussion developing on the theme of the future of radio in-car. 

Alexandra Daskalopoulos, the founder and CEO of a Greece media company Frontstage Entertainment, claims that “radio in the cars is under attack”. She reminds the guests of the destiny of the radio receiver that had been removed from the iPhone. That is why she underlines the importance of one strong voice – represented for example by Radioplayer – when lobbying and collaborating with car companies. This could prevent the vanishing of radio from the centre of the car dashboard. 

“Car radio looks like crap and many of the car companies are okay with that,” commented Tomas Granryd, the Head of Digital Partnerships from Swedish Radio. He then highlighted the importance of adapting the apps to create a new car-specific visual language. The key, according to him, is “making the audio come alive.”

​​Radioplayer’s Laurence Harrison also expressed his view on introducing a new fundamental system to a car, which can take up to 3 years. “Even if there was a feature that could be updated for the radio, we will be fighting with a list of other things,” he claims.   

Laurent Frisch, Head of Digital & Production and CDO at Radio France, also remarked that the car industry is evolving very quickly, saying: “if we miss the car, we miss the most important thing,” meaning that if the media companies do not acknowledge that, it will be too late for them to catch up and lobby for their interests.

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