How Apple’s CarPlay Will Look–And What This Means for Terrestrial Radio

Yesterday at the Geneva Auto Show, Apple unveiled CarPlay, their move to increase iOS integration with dashboards.  Here’s what it will look like in practice on the next generation of Volvos.

Nice, huh?  As an iOS user, I find this very appealing.  But as a 30+ year member of the radio industry, I’m scared.  Did you notice anything about radio in this video?

Nope.  That’s because with the next generation of infotainment systems, traditional AM-FM radio will be so marginalized, you have to wonder what percentage of drivers won’t even bother to look for it.  Radio consultant Mark Ramsey has these observations on what systems like CarPlay will mean for terrestrial radio.

I can hear some people going “Pish.  Radio is so ingrained in our lives that we’ll always need it.  Besides, look at all the stats that say how many people use radio on a weekly basis.  It’s somewhere up around 90% of the population. Radio’s not in trouble at all!”

Well, maybe not at the moment.  But when we’re all driving high-tech connected cars, will we be tempted to endlessly customize our in-car entertainment?  And what about young people who are growing up in an always-connected Internet age?  Will they grow into radio listeners?  My guess is “no.”

Radio needs to watch these technological developments very closely–and then the industry needs to act.  And the sooner the better.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38321 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “How Apple’s CarPlay Will Look–And What This Means for Terrestrial Radio

  • It will be interesting to see whether the technology or the industry matures into a pure streaming model more quickly – the window of opportunity for the industry to get a handle on the streaming revenue model is there right now – 3G or LTE streaming is still a dicey proposition, even in urban areas, and especially in a moving vehicle – it works perfectly, or perfectly frustratingly, and often both on the same trip.


Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.