That’s the name of automotive and analytics expert Roger Lanctot’s latest column on LinkedIn. Lanctot was reacting to Tesla’s latest optional software update on 2018 models that removes AM/FM Radio. He says Tesla’s decision “highlights the strangely tortured relationship between the broadcast radio industry and Silicon Valley.”
To this day radio still has a huge advantage in the dashboard of a vehicle. It’s free, easy to use and, in many cases, still local. However, as technology improves and that dashboard transforms into a computer, the radio has become just a piece of an infotainment system, and that worries some in our industry.
Lanctot says, “Google, Apple, and Tesla have all turned their backs on the broadcast radio industry in spite of the wide reach of radio – a reach that exceeds that of television – and the fact that it is free, localized content ideally suited to consumption in a mobile environment.” The radio industry hasn’t done itself any favors by overloading consumers with commercials in an era where consumers can simply change what their listening to with their voice. Lanctot wonders if Tesla is testing consumers, to see if they care if radio is gone and they’ll pay $2,500 for Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Twitch.
Lanctot goes on to lay out the important questions: “Is this approach sustainable? Is it tolerable? Where can an outraged consumer turn to protest? Will there be consumer outrage? Should there be? Is it time for an in-vehicle radio mandate to ensure that emergency communications – at least – can be broadcast into cars?”
And he ends his piece with the words every radio executive wants to hear from an outsider: “I will say that the radio industry offers contextually relevant and reliable content delivery with a broad reach across a wide range of devices and listening environments. Deleting radio from cars – terrestrial or satellite-based – tears at the fabric of our social connectedness.”
Check our Lanctot’s article on LinkedIn HERE