Drivers are programed to instantly turn on their radio every time they get in their car. From the first turn of the key to the last shift into park, radio is essential for every road trip. It is the original form of in-car entertainment and a true companion on every drive, so it’s natural for us at iHeartRadio to put the vehicle at the forefront of our strategy. We know that the car is the next frontier for innovation and we want to be everywhere our listeners are, with the services they expect. The increasing popularity of Internet apps for the car is a testament to how the auto industry is embracing both consumers’ interconnected lifestyles and digital innovation.
At iHeartRadio, we are focused on extending the car radio experience for drivers around the country, ensuring listeners never drive out of range from their favorite stations and radio personalities. Today’s consumers are accustomed to an increasingly connected lifestyle in which they own multiple “smart” devices and have a myriad of infotainment options that allow them to access their favorite content anytime – anywhere.
We put a lot of thought into both the technology composition and the design of our products. The always-connected lifestyle of today’s consumer requires swipes, taps, and eyes glued to a screen, which isn’t safe for drivers. In the car, it’s about creating a catered experience that keeps eyes on the road while delivering the core features that make iHeartRadio an exceptional service. To do that, we work to simplify and innovate user interfaces and employ leading-edge technologies in addition to incorporating our understandings about the movements and habits of current AM/FM radio users. We design iHeartRadio’s auto apps to be a natural fit with driver behaviors and needs.
Aside from ensuring that our product meets industry and manufacturer safety standards, we worked with General Motors to make sure the iHeartRadio application complements the entire system, experience and brand. The resulting application customized to ensure compatibility with General Motor’s systems and delivers an experience that is a natural fit for our users.
From the start, we’ve wanted to expand the radio experience for drivers in a way that innovates the digital experience in the car and also provides drivers with safety-minded options so they can get in and enjoy the ride.
Brian Lakamp is President of Digital for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, where he oversees the company’s digital strategy. This includes iHeartRadio, Clear Channel’s free, industry-leading digital radio product that offers more than 1,500 live radio and digital-only stations from 150 cities, as well as the infrastructure, tools and social media integration for its local stations’ branded Internet properties. He also works closely with the company’s key partners to develop cutting-edge tools and products for all of Clear Channel’s radio, media and entertainment properties.