At NAB Show New York last month, Xperi said it was close to announcing two more auto manufacturers that are currently pushing an over-the-air software update to convert the radio experience in their vehicles to DTS AutoStage. Now the company has quietly disclosed that four automotive brands launched Xperi’s hybrid radio platform during the third quarter: Hyundai, Genesis, Kia and an unnamed electric vehicle manufacturer.
Xperi CEO Jon Kirchner made the reveal during the tech giant’s third quarter earnings call late Tuesday. “During the quarter, in the infotainment area, we saw four automotive brands launched DTS AutoStage: Hyundai, Genesis, Kia and a leading EV manufacturer,” Kirchner said. The three brands are part of Hyundai Motor Group.
They join Daimler, which became the first automaker to integrate DTS AutoStage into its vehicles starting in 2020.
“We expect DTS AutoStage and DTS AutoSense to grow compared to 2021,” CFO Robert Anderson said during the call. “This growth will be more than offset by declines in HD Radio and audio solutions due to continued supply chain issues.”
At NAB Show New York, Joe D'Angelo, Senior VP of Broadcast Radio at Xperi, said more automakers were planning to deploy the technology next year, while others are coming off the factory floor with it installed. Within the next 12-24 months, eight automotive brands are expected to install DTS AutoStage.
Once automakers officially sign on, getting DTS into new and recent model cars can be fast-tracked. That’s because, unlike HD Radio and satellite radio, automakers don’t have to install new hardware. DTS AutoStage is an application that runs in the dashboard on top of the radio. “Cars can now be updated, like your cell phone,” D’Angelo explained.
AutoStage combines over-the-air broadcast radio with internet-delivered content to provide a richer, more immersive, user experience that can take broadcast radio to a new level of engagement and interactivity. The technology also enables continued listening to local broadcast stations when the vehicle drives out of broadcast range, by automatically connecting to the station’s online stream.
Hybrid radio opens up a two-way data pipeline between radio and the connected car, enabling interactivity, content recommendations and listening insights.
The increase in support from automakers is driving the installed base of hybrid-enabled radios. D'Angelo said this will take the number of tuning/location events Xperi tracks in connected cars in the U.S. from 204 million this year to close to 25 billion next year, from 20,000 broadcast towers in the U.S., including full power stations, translators and repeaters.
The implementation of DTS AutoStage is creating a vast treasure trove of new analytics for broadcasters about their in-car listeners. “This is super exciting – it is big data for American radio from the connected car,” Pierre Bouvard, Chief Insights Officer at Cumulus Media/Westwood One, said at NAB Show New York.