The entertainment experience in cars is changing fast, and there are threats — and opportunities — facing radio. If you buy a new car today, you will likely have a whole new experience regarding the technology, the dashboard and the entertainment options available.
Expect built-in internet connectivity and an operating system that, among other things, allows you to download apps to the dashboard, with hundreds of options.
There will be a large, high-resolution dashboard screen and even passenger screens in the back, with access to on-demand video and games from the cloud. But how easily will you find the radio, and will it provide a great experience or look poor compared to the other audio services? Will you keep listening to the same amount of radio, or will the new services and apps grab your attention?
These are the questions radio broadcasters worry about today, and Radioplayer is already providing answers on their behalf.
Radioplayer is unique in the radio and automotive industries. We are 100% backed by radio broadcasters and only act strategically to keep radio strong. We are 100% focused on radio — we have no other competing interests.
The hybrid radio experience
At Radioplayer, our main aim is to partner with carmakers to create hybrid radio experiences where broadcast radio works with internet connectivity. The connectivity allows rich, official metadata from Radioplayer broadcasters, such as station logos, now-playing and program information, podcasts and on-demand shows, to complement the robust, free broadcast signal and bring it to life for users. Broadcasters can upload their data directly to Radioplayer, so it’s official, and they are in control. The Radioplayer APIs can power any carmaker system.
We have also developed a fully hybrid app in the Android Automotive operating system that carmakers can use and customize. Other features we offer include a library of fully licensed artist images and a recommendations algorithm for a more personalized experience, which we are enhancing with AI tools. Our broadcaster partners will soon see how they perform across hybrid radio and our other products with listening data via our new analytics platform.
Importantly, we also work closely with our carmaker partners to ensure radio is prominent and easy to access and the user experience is world-class. We now have partnerships with multiple car manufacturers, including VW Group (brands such as Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche), BMW Group (BMW and Mini) and Renault, powering three million cars and 56 models on the road today.
Although supporting hybrid radio in-car is our primary focus, we also have a full range of consumer products to ensure our broadcasters reach their listeners wherever they are. Radioplayer has a world-leading mobile app, a web player, a smart TV app, smart speaker integrations and even a smartwatch app.
Our consumer products also provide further radio options in the car. We have an automotive app that is integrated with all the major automotive app stores, and our mobile app works with mirroring technologies like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The author is Radioplayer Automotive Partnerships director.