What Radio Can Teach The Automotive Industry
From zero to 60, the "connected car" has become a mainstream issue in radio in little more than a year. You can't attend a radio conference or convention without at least one panel devoted to the relationship between radio and the "center stack." And this week in Detroit -- the Motor City -- we're devoting the better part of two days to discussing the intersection of the radio and automotive industries and how we can learn from one another.
As you've no doubt heard by now, the list of participating brands is impressive, with speakers and presenters you never see at radio conferences. Toyota, GM, Ford, Panasonic, Pioneer, and other auto brands will be presenting, with many others in attendance. On the content side of the spectrum, we've got iHeart Radio, Pandora, TuneIn, and Aha by Harman set and ready to go. And we have sessions designed to show off what's next in connected car technology, as well as the innovations that are happening in radio.
But one panel that may surprise people is "Behind the Mic/Behind the Wheel," featuring some of Detroit radio's best shows and hosts. That's because radio's personality factor is what sets the medium apart, and it will be on display at DASH.
General Motors was kind enough to lend us a couple of well-equipped 2014 vehicles, a Buick Regal GS and a very cool electric Chevy Spark EV. So last week, we invited a group of Detroit celebrity DJs to sit behind the wheel and tackle the challenges of the "connected car" (something we urge all of you to do). And, of course, we captured it all on tape.
We're talking WRIF's top-rated morning show, "Dave & Chuck the Freak" (along with Lisa Way, who is pictured below), sports radio superstars Valenti & Foster from The Ticket (pictured above), and morning icon and TV personality Jay Towers from WNIC. Greater Media's Buzz Knight -- no stranger to managing big-name personalities -- will be moderating.
DASH attendees from the worlds of ad agencies, car dealerships, Tier 1s, and the OEMs will have a chance to see and hear from these local legends as they talk about -- and very likely laugh about -- their experience behind the wheel in connected cars.
Sure, it will be entertaining, but it will also serve as a reminder of what makes AM/FM radio different. And to the broadcasters in attendance at DASH, it will underscore the importance of great local talent and a sense of place amid all the technology.
Executives from the automotive world will see firsthand just how incredible local radio can be. While their center stacks may be filled with infinite streams from around the globe, custom "radio stations” from multiple services, and of course the hundreds of channels offered by SiriusXM, there is only one industry that brings consumers face-to-face with their hometown markets in a meaningful, tuned-in way: local radio.
So while our many radio-industry attendees will be on hand to learn and collaborate with these automotive gurus, there will be something else happening at DASH at the same time.
Detroit radio is going to put on a show of its own, demonstrating the power, magic, and allure of local radio and why it is different from everything else in the dashboard.
It's your guess as to who will be more impressed. But I know who I'm betting on.
There's still time to learn, collaborate, and partner at radio's most innovative conference, DASH at the Westin at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, October 23 and 24. To learn more, www.dashconference.com.