Jacobs Media presented the second and final day of DASH, The Connected Car AudioTainment Conference yesterday in Detroit. (See Day 1 coverage here.)
Day 2 added a new dimension to the previous day’s industry discussions about the future of radio in the car, by introducing car dealers into the cross-sector mix. Three Detroit dealership owners were featured onstage before an attentive audience of radio pros eager to learn what type of listening consumers want in their cars. Some of the learnings were blunt: “If you are getting into the car via an antenna, and everyone is connecting digitally, you’re going to be left out.” And, on the revenue side: “You’d have to give me quantified data, for me to continue advertising with you.” One dealer wrapped up his contributions with this rueful comment: “When I got into car dealership, I didn’t know I’d have to understand the Internet as much as I need to.”
A session called “What’s New in the Car?” spotlighted execs from two car companies (Toyota, GM) and two aftermarket providers (Pioneer, Panasonic). Greg Ross, head of infotainment at GM, noted his company’s commitment to Internet connectivity: “16-million cars will be sold this year, and all will be connected.”
Larry Rosin of Edison Research showed video results of a consumer survey of new-car buyers, providing the day’s best LOL entertainment. The audience chuckled over segments featuring the difficulties of operating tech-heavy dashboards. There was no chuckling over brick-wall sentiments expressed by some subjects, especially when asked how their listening habits have been changed by expanded options. “I don’t listen to radio anymore because I don’t have to,” asserted one.
Erica Farber, president of the Radio Advertising Bureau, moderated a panel investigation of in-car ad strategies. Later, a cohort of radio DJs were questioned about their perspective on connected cars by Buzz Knight, VP of Greater Media.
Ed Cohen from Nielsen (who started the “Wild West” characterization of connected cars) hosted a consumer tracking panel, and Scott Burnell (Ford) joined Brian Lakamp (Clear Channel/iHeart) and Sarah Lumbard (NPR) in a discussion about partnering with automakers.