Audio In The Car: The Android Way for Radio


A plethora of car manufacturers are actively seeking to place Android Automotive in their vehicles. Like Apple Car Play, this system manages the automotive experience and, for radio broadcasters, creates some interesting opportunities.

A West Hall session held Tuesday afternoon at the NAB Show put a spotlight on the importance of “full broadcast radio functionality” in Android Automotive and how Xperi, the parent of HD Radio; and Ford Motor Company are on the forefront of bringing the tech advancement to cars and trucks.

Joe D’Angelo, SVP of Broadcast Radio at Xperi, reiterated the importance of keeping radio front and center in the dash. “There’s so much research that indicates that measures how important radio is to listeners, not only on a daily basis but when they are making a new car buying decision.”

D’Angelo’s viewpoint is aligned with that of Albert Choi, Content Lead for Commercial and Technology Partnership at Ford. Becoming more connected is key, and keeping Radio there is an industry need.

With NAB PILOT Executive Director John Clark moderating the 30-minute expo floor discussion, how to serve the listener in a compelling way remains important for both Radio and the automotive industry.

How does D’Angelo describe the consumer experience for audio today? “It varies based on what platform you’re looking at,” he responded, noting differences between DAB, HD Radio and analog AM/FM radio. “In general, JD Power research demonstrates that there is a high degree of satisfaction with radio among new car buyers.”

Why? Radio has been a “good steward” over the last 20 years to make sure that it is there, in the dash. Being informative and local are also big selling points D’Angelo brings to the plate.


  1. The vast majority of Americans can and do, already Bluetooth audio sources from their phone to their vehicle speakers.
    Android Auto, nor any platform, has ZERO to do with maintaining the relevance of AM or FM in the car.
    The key to continued relevance of AM or FM is 100% about content.
    And intolerably long commercial breaks of 10, 12, 14 or more commercials in a row is toxic to maintaining FM relevance. That is the major reason, why listeners – especially under 35’s – have gone to streaming.
    In a sense, streaming is displacing FM, like FM displaced AM years ago.
    But this time, the wounds are self-inflicted. And the big corporate owners could care less — they are not in radio for the long haul. Their focus is quarter to quarter, priorites being debt servicing and executive compensation.
    And voice tracking is absolutely no different than AI. Listeners are not stupid; they can tell the difference between compelling local talent and voice tracking.


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