Radio in a connected car

We need to use tools like DTS and Zetta - and best practice from Radio Player and Digital Radio UK to embrace broadcasting in the connected car.

In a session hosted and produced by Xperi Inc, it was asserted that metadata is a critical component of broadcast radio. The panel discussed the opportunities unlocked with engaging metadata from production to distribution – and the impact on DAB, apps and the connected car.

Joseph D’Angelo (Xperi, USA) opened by explaining how car touch screens are now connected to all kinds of radio around the world, via the internet. And that this offers enhanced discovery and control for the listener – and competition and opportunities for radio. He said that over 60 million cars have now been sold with a digital input.

The panel went into more detail about the opportunities for broadcasters – in the studio, the cloud and the car. Philippe Generali (RCS, France) asserted that RCS’ product Zetta can help radio stations get relevant content in cars and on websites visually. They provide synchronised real-time information on what is playing on-air for listeners in their car or online – and content such as album art, weather and branding to go with it. 

Michael Hill (Radioplayer, UK) explained that we need to engage with the connected car – and quickly – to compete with the likes of Apple and Spotify. He said that Radioplayer are working with Audi to create a high-end radio experience, with a single station list including FM, DAB and Online radio stations. Amongst other things, they insist that a connected cars continue to have a ‘radio’ button.

Sam Bonham (Digital Radio UK) went on to assert that 84% of people still turn on the radio when they get into their car. And they have expectations; it must be good, it must be easy to find the radio and station – and they must be given information about what they’re listening to. But Sam said that less than 10% of cars achieve this. Therefore, Digital Radio UK have put together guidelines to assist car manufacturers reach the hybrid ideal we are all striving for.

D’Angelo concluded by sharing the work that Xperi is doing to assist with this. Their product, ‘DTS’ assists broadcasters in getting their content into cars – and manufacturers in embracing hybrid. He spoke about metadata that we can glean from this new opportunity – from a simple thumbs up, or down from listeners in their car. He said, “Xperi, Zetta, Radioplayer and Digital Radio UK are going to help make your station more discoverable and engaging in the connected car.”