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The MAD DASH To Detroit

(A message from Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs) I was honored to be a part of one of the most talked-about sessions at the Radio Show last week: "Radio & The Connected Car," sponsored by Arbitron. One of the outcomes that we hoped for from this presentation was to make the "connected car" a top-of-mind issue for the radio industry. From the feedback I received in the hallways of the Rosen Shingle Resort, we hit that goal.

Whether you made it to Orlando or not, it's time to focus on a conference unlike anything thats been done before in radio: DASH. It will take place in the automotive capital of the world, Detroit, on October 23/24. If "Radio & The Connected Car" was the hors doeuvre, DASH is the three-course meal, featuring industry experts you just don't see at radio conferences. This first-ever event has a singular, laser-targeted focus:

Radio's relationship with the car

For as long as any of us have worked in radio, the car has served as a dependable and ubiquitous host for our programming, providing true mobile coverage wherever a consumer might travel on four wheels.

It may be an overstatement to suggest that radio has taken the automobile for granted, but amidst the changing digital entertainment arena of the past decade or so, the car has been a stable, trustworthy source for broadcast radio. For consumers, even as their worlds have been rocked by new technology, the car radio has been that simple fixture in the center of the dashboard that has seamlessly connected them with local programming on both the AM and FM bands.

But now the connected car is changing all that, and thats why weve partnered with Radio Ink and telematics expert Valerie Shuman to create DASH -- a conference dedicated to the relationship between audio infotainment and the automobile. At DASH, we'll be featuring sessions, panels, and keynotes youve never seen before at a radio convention.

The importance of the automobile cannot be overstated. Every aspect of broadcast radio is impacted by the "connected car," from programming to sales to digital -- another key reason managers from multi departments should put DASH on their October agendas.

That's because there are two big reasons the "connected car" is so important to radio:

1. The car remains the #1 listening location for broadcast radio -- but the "center stack" is getting more crowded with options.

2. Automotive is at or near the top when it comes to radio revenue -- but buying priorities are changing, threatening these dollars.

So we're going to cover it all at DASH, from apps to embedded modems to audio infotainment options to the consumer experience. And from the all-important revenue-generation side of the spectrum, the RAB's Erica Farber will be moderating a panel of agency execs representing some of the biggest automakers.

And we will have a unique panel comprised of savvy car dealers who will tell you how their priorities are changing and how radio can play a continued and vital role in the marketing of their businesses. This session alone will be the worth the price of admission, shining the spotlight on a key source of revenue, and revealing new avenues to strengthen that important partnership. Here's a brief trailer that will give you a look at why understanding the car dealer's point of view is so important to local radio.

And to bring DASH into the air studio, a group of celebrity Detroit DJs, hosted by Greater Media's Buzz Knight, will test drive "connected cars" and share their experiences with attendees. That's because the "digital dashboard" touches every department of every radio station in America.

We have executives and visionaries from many of the greatest global brands booked and ready to present, keynote, and participate in DASH:

TuneIn Radio
SNL Kagan
Listener Driven Radio

And the list goes on, as more execs and industry pros join in. Of course, on the radio side, we're honored to have David Field, Peter Smyth, and Bruce Reese committed, with more players from our industry registering every day.

As someone who has attended numerous telematics conferences and events -- including CES several times -- I can tell you that the auto companies and their Tier 1 suppliers are now out in full force, excited about this space. And brands like Pandora and SiriusXM show up at these conferences as well, trying to redefine what "radio" means to the car companies.

Another of our hopeful outcomes from DASH is to send a message to the automotive industry that radio is engaged and we care. The car is a critically important part of radio's future -- it is essential that the industry is well represented at DASH. We are also optimistic that we can initiate one of the takeaways that came out of the Radio Show presentation: the formation of a multi-industry consortium that brings the radio and automotive industries together. It starts in Detroit at this conference.

DASH will take place on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 23 and most of the day on Thursday, October 24, at the beautiful Westin at Detroit Metro Airport, just across from Gate 36 in the Delta terminal.

This is an investment in the future of the radio business as new technology presents both challenges and opportunities. It is essential that the radio industry send a message to the automotive world that we care, we've been a part of this since those first radios starting showing up in Model T Fords, and we're here to stay.
Join us for DASH. You can learn more and register here:

Reminder: The special $159 DASH rate at the Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport ends Friday, September 27. Register today.

October 23-24, 2013
Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport
Detroit, MI