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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Why We Created DASH

The fall season marks the start of football, the coming baseball playoffs, and our second DASH Conference. Living in Detroit, it's never easy anticipating how the Lions will perform or if the Tigers will fade, but we do know that on October 15-16, hundreds of leaders from the radio industry, automotive companies and their suppliers, advertising agencies, car dealers, and others with an interest in the "connected car" will converge on Detroit to collaborate and gain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the dashboard.

We hope you can join us for the most unique conference in radio. We created DASH last year because we recognized how quickly entertainment options are changing, and AM/FM radio is no longer the king of the car. Drivers now have access to virtually unlimited options, including satellite radio, pure-plays (Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Slacker), mobile apps, their own music collections, and now, in General Motors vehicles, 4G LTE Internet connectivity.

Since the car represents the radio industry's most important listening location and its top advertising category, we believed, along with our partners at Radio Ink and the Connected Vehicle Trade Association's Valerie Shuman, that it was time to address this challenge head-on.

Last year's DASH was an unqualified success, but when it ended, we decided to hold off before locking in a 2014 date. We wanted to be sure the "connected car" issue would continue to resonate with broadcasters.

Since that time, Apple and Google have announced plans for their digital dashboard platforms, BMW is discontinuing AM radio in some electric vehicles, GM is dropping HD Radio in some of theirs, and Ford dictated that up to 50 percent of their dealer co-op dollars must shift from traditional media to digital.

In 2013, the "connected car" was a hot topic. This year, it's the hot topic.

So we want to invite you to DASH V2.0. The agenda is about 70 percent complete, and it's already stronger than last year's lineup. Keynotes: Each day at DASH will kick off with a must-see keynote presentation. Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, will talk about the trends and forces shaping consumers, and the ways in which companies must satisfy those needs.

Cary Tilds, chief innovation officer of the major advertising company Group M, will connect the ways technology and data from devices and automobiles are changing the way that agencies and their clients are shaping new strategies -- and how radio needs to adjust its approach.

Radio Sells Cars ? Can Car Dealers Sell Radio?: Radio does a great job of driving consumers to local dealerships, but when it comes time to "train" new car buyers about the options available in the dashboard, is radio part of the routine? We've been given permission to observe the training process, and we'll capture these experiences on video so broadcasters and auto execs alike can witness this key transaction firsthand. It will be followed by a discussion among car dealers and radio executives to strategize how our two industries can work together to one another's benefit.

Open Mic: After last year's DASH, several attendees suggested that they would like to have better access to automotive leaders, so we've created a session where you will be able to fire away at leaders like John Ellis (Ford's global technologist and head of its developer program) and others. In an "ask me anything" format, you'll have the chance to fire off your questions, concerns, and ideas.

Turning Data Into Dollars: A great quote from last year was from an ad agency executive: "The car is a one-ton cookie, and our job is to figure out how to use that data." The advertising world is moving to a data orientation, so how can the radio industry adjust its approach to capture these dollars? A panel of experts, including Katz Radio's EVP of Strategy & Analytics Stacey Shulman, will tell us where the dollars are shifting.

Where Traffic Is Headed: For as long as we can remember, traffic information has been the domain of the radio industry. But an influx of new technology is changing the game. Edison Research's Larry Rosin will share video results of interviews and research his company has conducted on the topic.

There will be additional presentations that include Erica Farber, other OEMs, Panasonic, Visteon, Slacker and Pandora, NextRadio, the impact of Apple and Google, and much more.

But last year, attendees told us that one of the best parts about DASH was the networking. You'll have the opportunity to talk to and hang out with executives from the auto industry, key Tier

One companies, major advertisers, and the other players in this unfolding drama. You'll see people at DASH you just don't see at radio conferences.

We hope that you'll join us in Detroit on October 15-16 for DASH. We are organizing DASH because we believe in the critical importance of this issue to the future of the radio industry. We

attend and speak at numerous car conferences, the Consumer Electronics Show, and other events and feel that it is important for broadcasters to gain a deeper understanding of so they know

how to make the adjustments at the industry, company, and station level to grow. We hope that you agree.

For more information about DASH, including registration information, go to

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for DASH, please don't hesitate to reach out to me.

And we look forward to seeing you in the Motor City in mid-October for DASH.

Fred Jacobs
Jacobs Media

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