asiCast 124: The battle for control of in-car audio

Radioplayer has recently celebrated its 10th anniversary so it seems like a good time to take a look at the journey it has been on in this time. In this asiCast Matt Deegan, Director of Folder Media, talks to Mike Hill, Radioplayer’s founder and Managing Director.

Radioplayer is a radio platform entirely backed by broadcasters. It’s a not-for-profit organisation in which broadcasters invest to develop projects for the common good of the medium – looking to ensure that radio maintains its dominant position in cars is especially important but also that it should be easily accessible in connected devices of all kinds. The idea originated at the BBC, was rapidly accepted and adopted by all commercial broadcasters in the UK and now partnerships are well established with 14 different markets.

In the early days, Radioplayer served to make people aware of the importance of the metadata that determined how a station was presented and featured on the platform. Over the years this has developed into just one element of the rich offer the player now offers to the car industry. As the current crop of new cars come on-stream, they feature ever increasing levels of connectivity with much of it built into the dashboard. In self-drive cars this also includes video. For radio, this represents a much bigger threat than cassettes or CDs. In the fight for the centre of the dashboard, the radio industry needs strong representation to car manufacturers so that it doesn’t slip down the list of priorities. Recently, Radioplayer has announced a partnership arrangement with BMW to add to the arrangement it already has with the VW group.

In-car listening is essential to the future of radio and a significant example of how/why the industry needs to work together. One of the side benefits of the introduction of Radioplayer to a market has been the extent to which it brings all sides of the industry together regularly to discuss issues of significance, not simply to the player itself, but to the wider radio business.

There’s little doubt the Radioplayer’s next decade will be as interesting and challenging as the last.

Michael Hill talks with Matt Deegan:


You can also listen to the interview by pressing play below or click here.

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