Why Terrestrial and Satellite Radio Should Be Concerned About iOS7

Apple logoAccording to the statisticians at Apple, 95% of all new vehicles are available with some kind of iPod/iPhone connectivity.  But that connectivity is crippled by the fact that what you see on your iPhone isn’t mirrored on the screen in your dashboard.

I find this HUGELY frustrating, especially when it comes to traffic/navigation apps like Waze.

But this should soon be a thing of the past.  One of Apple’s announcements at WWDC that really grabbed my attention was news that the company was working with a 16 manufacturers–GM, Honda, Kia, Jaguar, Mercedes, Volvo, Nissan, Infiniti, Hyundai, Acura and even Ferrari are among the launch clients–to tightly integrate iOS with the on-board infotainment systems beginning with 2014 models.

And not only will drivers see what’s on their iPhone on their dashboard, they’ll be able to talk to Siri, too. This should offer a big improvement with current car-based voice command systems.

This announcement is HUGE.  It’s exactly the kind of thing I’ve been predicting for the last couple of years, especially when it comes to traditional and satellite radio.

Why wait for the radio to tell you about news/weather/traffic/sport scores when you can just ask your car to give you this customized information on demand?  And if you can ask your car to play you whatever music you feel like–or ask it to recommend songs for you–how quickly will people make the switch from radio?

People already tightly attached to their smartphones.  This will only allow them to get tighter and more inseparable from their devices. The switch from smartphone to AM/FM radio won’t be as automatic–certainly not for the younger generations.

And yes, this is just for iPhone at the moment, but you can bet that there will be moves from Android, Microsoft, Blackberry and others to do exactly the same thing.

As someone who has worked in radio for more than 30 years, I sure as hell hope that the industry takes note of these new developments.  That cliff I’ve been warning broadcasters about just got a lot closer.

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