By: Vince Kattoula

Radio has survived countless technological advancements over the years, from TV to iPods to streaming. But, perhaps the most dramatic changes, and most challenging, have yet to come. Below are some important technology trends that we think will influence your station this year.

Smart speakers. Radio’s presence in the home has been eroding since the appearance of the iPod. But new hope for radio has arrived in the form of “smart speakers,” particularly Amazon Echo. By now, you’ve probably heard about (or even used) “Alexa” and experienced all she can do. From setting the temperature on your smart thermostat to dimming the lights in your living room, there are a lot of cool things these speakers can do. For radio stations, however, their opportunity lies with Alexa’s ability to pull in the listener’s favorite station or podcast with a simple voice command. Radio’s at-home challenge – like so many of the others – starts with awareness, and then devising smart strategies to take advantage of this technology.

PodcastingPodcasting, a once-obscure method of consuming audio, has become a leading medium for distributing audio content, whether for business or personal use. In 2016, 71% of podcasts were listened to on a mobile device. It’s no surprise that mobile is the dominant platform being used to stream podcasts, yet radio stations still haven’t embraced podcasting like they should. When combined, podcasting and radio can create exciting programming that brings together broadcasting’s skills at production, content creation and marketing in an exciting, unlimited new form.

Connected cars. The car dashboard is one of the greatest programming challenges for broadcasters today. It’s also one of the greatest opportunities. Radio still has a dominant presence within cars, but this does not mean things won’t change. More technology brings more choices, and there are a lot in connected cars. We can attribute much of this to the driver’s ability to bring in smartphone content as well as dashboard apps, like Pandora and Spotify, right to their screen. So, what does this mean for your station? Simple – your mobile app is the way in. Whether it’s the in-car system, CarPlay or Android Auto, your mobile app makes sure that when your listener is in the car, your brand stays top of mind.

Apps are the best way to engage consumers through their mobile phone since it allows a variety of content (and content types like audio, video, text, etc.) to go with them no matter where they are. We understand the potential of these technologies to redefine the way consumers inform and entertain themselves where they live and while on-the-go. That’s why we’ve been hard at work developing new “skills” for Amazon Echo and Google Home, adding to our App EverywhereSM initiative.

Reach out to us today! Call 248-353-9030, or email sales@jacapps.com for a free consultation.

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