John Ellis is the founder and Managing Director of Ellis & Associates and the former global technologist for Ford. Ellis helped develop the Sync platform for Ford. And he was on a panel that focused on the connected car at the Radio Show in Austin, Tuesday afternoon. Here’s what he said about how broadcasters can continue to control the dash.
Ellis said the ecosystem in the automobile is being led by power. “Broadcasters control what gets connected to in the car. Don’t lose control in the connected car environment. The industry needs to come together to show they are in the driver’s seat.” Ellis says radio needs to have one voice when talking to auto OEMs and companies that make in-dash devices. OEMs hate fragmentation. The radio industry at large could hold big influence with automotive OEMs with a unified voice.” Radio does not have one voice now. There’s iHeartRadio, NextRadio, Radio.com, and thousands of individual station apps.
Ellis said Internet radio is having an impact on in-dash decisions. “The Ford Expedition will no longer have a CD player, which will be replaced with streaming radio (IP). Many in the industry looked at it like ‘holy crap’ due to Ford’s conservative nature, but others are bound to follow.”