According to Joe D’Angelo, Xperi’s senior vice president of global radio and digital audio, the car will be the platform for future innovation in audio, and Xperi is taking the lead.
RedTech: Where do you see opportunities to secure the future of radio?
Joe D’Angelo: 2022 was an amazing year for radio innovation, and 2023 has brought more change and innovation. We’ve seen broadcasters take control of their digital presence with investment, enthusiasm and innovative programming. More and more broadcasters are “flipping the script” on big tech and homogenous digital platforms to control their own digital destiny, partnering with credible, trustworthy allies and pushing their audiences to directly engage with their platforms while ensuring editorial control of the user experience. This is very exciting to see and reinforces the value of radio and its resistance to being marginalized and commoditized in today’s crowded digital landscape. The crown jewel of radio listening in Europe and North America continues to be the car, which is where radio should focus its efforts to ensure a robust digital future. Radio owners and managers should continue to invest in modern digital infrastructure with DAB+ and HD Radio and embrace the opportunities of the connected car to enhance broadcast and understand radio audiences like never before through automotive analytics.
RedTech: What inspires your company to innovate?
D’Angelo: Opportunity and impact! Xperi has an unparalleled portfolio of technology and services and is uniquely positioned to revolutionize media consumption. Not only that, but we are primed to do it in a way that delivers extraordinary user experiences, value and protection to the creative community and a solid competitive advantage to our ecosystem partners. When deployed, our solutions redefine business models and consumer experiences on a global scale. Very few organizations have the reach and impact of Xperi across home, mobile and automotive. Seeing such a wide range of solutions touching users daily is extremely motivating and drives our innovations.
When deployed, our solutions redefine business models and consumer experiences on a global scale.
RedTech: How do your products make radio increasingly resilient, relevant and competitive?
D’Angelo: Xperi is firmly committed to making the broadcast radio industry resilient, relevant and competitive. Our broadcast technology portfolio delivers on all these and more. Our AIM RAPID and RADIO broadcast solutions provide broadcasters with platforms that enhance their core analog and digital (DAB+/HD Radio) OTA services and a suite of app functionality second-to-none. These solutions ensure broadcasters are in complete control of every aspect of their broadcast and digital services — controlling content, the user experience and, on app platforms, the critical insights and engagement expected. Our independent media platform, DTS AutoStage, the only global hybrid radio system, has been designed to ensure that radio remains dominant in the car and the preferred audio source for drivers. It is an open platform, free to all broadcasters, and currently deployed in over 140 countries serving more than 80,000 radio stations. All stations should register and take advantage of this powerful platform. In today’s crowded audio space, it is critical that radio remains intuitive, easy-to-use, engaging and ubiquitous. Still, it must also ensure ease of discovery, accurate and complementary metadata and anticipate the needs and wants of its audience to inform programming decisions.
RedTech: What one piece of advice would you give those running radio stations today?
D’Angelo: If I may, I have two: 1. Keep making great radio. Do what you’ve done for decades: create powerful audio content that informs, educates and entertains. No industry does it better or is more trusted by its audience. 2. If you haven’t already, register for DTS AutoStage. This platform is exploding worldwide and redefining broadcast radio in the connected car. We’ve launched with five automotive brands, and in the next 12 months, we expect to add another eight. It is free to register, will ensure that your station is accurately represented in the dash and will provide analytics and metrics about your broadcast radio audience to help shape the future of your station’s programming and advertising.
RedTech: How do you imagine radio by the end of the next decade?
D’Angelo: I believe three trends will impact radio over the next decade. First, the proliferation of digital broadcast radio will continue. DAB+ and HD Radio will roll out in more countries and in more cars, continuing to drive down costs and expand the amount of programming available to audiences worldwide. Second, broadcasters will continue to expand their portfolios of audio programming — not for the mass market but for niche, local markets. Broadcasters will leverage their connection with their communities to dig deeper into the narrative of their audience, villages, and neighborhoods. Third, the car will become THE platform for audio innovation. Cars are connected and migrating towards autonomy, but won’t achieve scale for two to three decades. That means that drivers will still be busy with the task of driving, and radio is the safe companion.
Over the last five years, car companies have deployed systems designed to be field upgradable, a concept long reserved for mobile phones and smart devices. These automotive entertainment platforms will unleash a radio renaissance.
This Q&A was published in the 2023 edition of The Innovators. Read the entire issue here.