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.