Greater Media's Peter Smyth Looks At The Digital Dash
July 12, 2013 at 5:49 AM (PT)
GREATER MEDIA CEO PETER SMYTH's monthly column takes a look at the "connected car" and the "digital dash" this month, dismissing the "overheated rhetoric... self interest and spin" of the speculation that in-car radio is doomed, and offering his overview on the state of the technology.
SMYTH asserts that "NO ONE knows how this evolution will turn out.... Prophecy is a dangerous occupation" and that the dashboard remains "experimental and proprietary to each car maker." He notes that radio has had competition on the dash before from cassettes, CDs, and 8-tracks, and "radio has fared well, maintaining its relationship and audience loyalty by focusing on the local information and human connection that has been the long-standing choice for drivers everywhere."
"The only reasonable way forward for radio," SMYTH writes, "is to make our brands available as many ways and places as possible and to remain engaged and nimble as the landscape changes. But more importantly, we need to maintain a disciplined focus on our product’s unique appeal. We are a live, local friend with an emotional connection to our listeners, providing them with information, a laugh, some music and a chance to escape from the traffic jam on their way home.
"We have to continue to be their best friend who knows that they want more than a playlist from their favorite station. These are our historic strengths; this is the relationship that works for our advertiser partners and produces results. Radio needs to invest in and play to its strengths, even as we take advantage of our relationships in new technological ways.
"We’ll survive; even better, we’ll thrive."
Read the column by clicking here.