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International Radio Festival

John Ousby from vTuner on stage at Radiodays Europe in Barcelona

Taking Radio Back on The Road

John Ousby from vTuner talked about the many different types of connected devices – they all share the same thing - an internet connection and an audio out.

The multiplicity of devices causes many issues for broadcasters with some services easy to join and others being more difficult to get onto. With more and more closed platforms and devices there is always now some form of aggregation.
John’s sure that Internet radio will be part of connected dashboards and are already available on many new cars. As a content provider it can be difficult as they all do it in different ways.

Much of the connected in-car environment is driven by drivers already bringing their mobiles into the car. It’s that functionality that car manufacturers are trying to compete with.  John felt that in Europe, eCall (a European mandate that cars must be able to call if they’re involved in an accident) will be sure to push further in-car connectivity.
John posed the question whether radio will just become an app? Can it compete with the other music services available in-car? John suggested that a single dial might be a good option and that bringing digital, FM and online into one user interface and connecting broadcast and IP with RadioDNS could be a great solution.


Martin Weiser, from Volkswagen Driver Information Systems, demonstrated some of the new innovations they’re working on - included autonomous cars. Weiser described the cars as evolving to feel, see and communicate. With in-car entertainment he talked about the evolution from consume to interact and later on to contribute.

Martin talked about the requirements their drivers had for radio. The basic requirements were background radio, selecting their favourite music, selecting and obtaining audio books, information and features. However, he stressed the importance for listeners having the anchor of their home station. Drivers expectations were increasing though, with more advanced requirements  including time shifting, service information (news, weather and traffic), learning about new music and hearing essential information.


Petra MPetra Marsteller from Hit Radio Antenne gave an overview of their in-car research project. Using installed iPhones and FM they created an app designed for in-car listening. They visualised the live listening environment, had recent archive material and pop-ups allowing users to get more information.

The app also had hotkeys to essential news, travel and information. This touched on many of the advanced requirements Martin talked about, and Antenne’s research showed listeners universally liked these enhancements to their radio listening.