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When the Car Becomes Your Living Room

August 11, 2017

For decades, radio had nearly a monopoly on entertainment in your car. It was one of the few diversions that still let you drive safely. In recent years, this dominant position has been challenged by other audio forces like Sirius/XM and the Pureplays. Still, most studies show that traditional radio continues to dominate auto entertainment.

However, personal transportation is about to have a drastic change. Many believe the driverless car is just around the corner. Travel through Pittsburgh and you can see the Uber vehicles that are going from point A to point B, with minimal human activity.



So what does this mean? The car is no longer just a car, and it could easily become a mobile living room. Instead of concentrating on the road, all the passengers can sleep, read, or do other activities without paying attention to the road.

Clearly this could have an impact on in-car listening, and it will if broadcasters ignore this trend.

On the other hand, this could be a tremendous opportunity. What other local media can entertain but also interact with the listeners? If your personalities have a one way relationship with your listeners they will lose. They need to make the lines of communications two-way. Most successful personalities are already using social media to interact with their listeners. How is your station touching the listeners beyond your audio signal? More importantly, how are your listeners touching the station, and do they find it a rewarding relationship?

Capturing people’s attention is more difficult than ever before. The mobile living room will only accelerate the opportunity to lose these captive listeners. Plan now to hold onto these consumers when driving distractions are no longer a problem.

-Charlie Sislen, Partner