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London-based music streaming service rara.com has inked an international partnership with BMW to integrate its platform directly into the manufacturer’s cars across Europe.
Launching this week across the UK, Germany, France, Italy and The Netherlands for BMW’s new 5 Series, the rara service - powered by Omnifone - will be delivered by the car’s ConnectedDrive Online Entertainment system.
The system will provide 12 months of unlimited music streaming via Rara.com with Vodafone providing the mobile network.
An international deal with Vodafone will mean that drivers can stream music from anywhere in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and The Netherlands without incurring any roaming costs - paying with a one-off annual fee instead.
"The in-dash car radio, with its dials and knobs, isn't signing off yet. But it's past its prime in the eyes of some automakers, and most aren't prepared to spend much time or money tinkering with it. Instead, they're focusing on the next generation of in-car entertainment, such as Web browsing and music streaming. Startup automaker Detroit Electric plans to be the first without a radio when it rolls out its first car in August — audio will be delivered via smartphone."
A pretty interesting take from one of the nation's carmakers' hometown papers, The Detroit News. The article's subhead reads: "AM-FM not dead yet but music streaming, Internet new priority."
The deal – the financial terms of which remain a mystery – is important for both the connected industry and the Berlin start-up scene, which has long been holding out for a big exit....
The deal is reminiscent of Harman’s 2010 purchase of Aha Radio, whose in-car Aha platform is found these days in vehicles from Subaru, Honda and Acura. Aupeo, meanwhile, has partnerships with Mercedes, BMW, Mini and Pioneer for its platform, which covers news and weather, radio, podcasts and audiobooks, and also uses text-to-speech technology. As for Panasonic, that company is already involved in Chrysler’s Uconnect platform — as is Harman, albeit as developer of a hands-free communication system — and Chevrolet’s MyLink.
Julius Marchwicki, Ford’s global product manager for Sync AppLink, interviewed by Leslie Stimson from Radio World.
As global product manager for Ford Sync AppLink, he’s at the center of what automakers are doing to entice young people into buying cars. Bigger engines don’t do the trick anymore, according to experts in that world; so Marchwicki works with companies like Pandora, Stitcher and Clear Channel to deliver in-vehicle connectivity to infotainment sources.
Sync is the automaker’s connectivity system, AppLink is an application programming interface. Marchwicki works with companies in application development and content creation and distribution, wireless handset and platform development, to deliver features into cars that consumers want.
The Northwestern University computer engineering grad spoke with Radio World News Editor/Washington Bureau Chief Leslie Stimson about how “radio” in all of its forms fits into the new dashboard, part of a new series of articles on radio’s role in the evolving world of consumer electronics.
You can climb down from the ceiling now, Mr. Broadcaster – it turns out new cars will feature FM/AM radios built-in for the foreseeable future (although certainly not forever).
The logic of this should be obvious to us all, but particularly obvious for anyone who bothers to talk with consumers.
And I did.
Between March 9 and March 10 2013, I fielded a random, balanced, national online study of 1,000 consumers and asked how they feel about those radios in their cars – and how they’d feel if they disappeared...
The disruption is happening and it is bound to accelerate. But we will not wake up tomorrow and discover new cars with no radios. Indeed, the problem is that those new cars will be full to the brim with entertainment choices galore.
The digital dashboard is bringing all sorts of things to drivers, but it won’t push FM/AM radio out of the front seat. That’s according to the big three automakers. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler each tell Inside Radio they’re committed to keeping broadcast radio inside their dashboards — and some are even doubling down on their commitment to it.
We have no plans to get rid of them because of their value for our customers,” Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne says. He points out they’ve just announced plans to begin installing HD Radio as standard on some Dodge Ram pickups. It’s a similar message from General Motors where executive say they have “no near term plans” to stop installing broadcast radio in cars. “While we are excited about the possibilities of internet radio services and other emerging services, we understand that AM/FM radio is still a significant source of news and entertainment,” chief infotainment officer Phil Abram says. “In fact, it is an expected feature.”
Spotify, le géant de l'écoute de musiques en streaming, vient de signer un partenariat avec la marque de voiture Volvo.
Après un partenariat entre Deezer et la marque de voiture Nissan, d’autres constructeurs automobiles cherchent à rattraper la concurrence. C’est le cas des prochains véhicules Volvo, lancés en 2014, qui seront entièrement connectés à Internet grâce à votre téléphone qui servira de modem. Cette nouvelle technologie proposée par la société Ericsson permettra d’écouter de la musique en streaming, de voir la météo en direct, de recevoir ses notifications Facebook et Twitter, d’avoir accès à des divertissements en ligne, etc…
En 2016, Volvo intègrera directement Internet dans ses voitures, il faudra alors s’équiper d’une carte SIM avec un forfait payable mensuellement.
Radio will soon be just one of several entertainment and information options to the U.S. driver. It's clear the day is coming that broadcasters will be competing head-to-head with Internet-delivered entertainment and information in the car.
Beginning today, drivers of BMW models equipped with BMW Apps and MINI drivers with MINI Connected can enjoy a fully-integrated Stitcher SmartRadio app experience in the vehicle. Stitcher SmartRadio is the mobile leader in onâÂ?Âdemand news, entertainment, sports and talk radio, delivering over 10,000 radio shows and live stations to customers around the globe.
BMW and MINI drivers can create a personal talk radio station experience with fresh, up-to-the-minute episodes of news, entertainment, sports, talk and live radio programs streamed directly to the vehicle’s infotainment system via the Stitcher SmartRadio App on the iPhone.
It is hard to believe that in some circles, there’s a raging debate…about all the wrong things.
Are digital futurists falsely predicting the doom of radio?
Are automakers conspiring to eliminate AM/FM radio from their “center stacks?”
Do we really need to be streaming?
Are young people abandoning radio in favor of new media technologies?
And on it goes.
In radio, these are issues akin to gun control, immigration, and the budget deficit – too complicated to take on in this space.
But for one of them – the future of radio in vehicles – there is no better source than to go to one of the fathers of Ford SYNC – Julius Marchwicki – for his insights about the relationship between the automakers and radio.
Radio World’s Leslie Stimson did just that last month when she interviewed Marchwicki, Ford’s global product manager for Sync AppLink.
So, what’s his take on radio and apps?
“When I think of radio, I think of an easy way to access localized content for any reason anywhere in the world. That content can be anything. It’s music, it’s news, it’s all sorts of things…Today, the age of the Internet and mobile phones as data connectivity has brought us to a world where I can access any radio station anywhere in the world anytime; and I personally think that’s fantastic. … Now we’re entering a world of applications and a world of data connectivity everywhere.”
As NAB CEO Gordon Smith clearly noted early in his keynote address, the “connected car” is a big topic for radio – today and in the future:
“Not too long ago some within our own industry raised the question of whether radio, specifically, was on the verge of being pushed out of the automobile. I think consumers and the leaders in Detroit said it best with a resounding no! But it is a good reminder that broadcasters can’t take their place in the dashboard for granted…we must continue to innovate and provide the content listeners want on many different platforms. We must keep our eyes focused on the new doors that open before us. The danger for any business that becomes complacent is its being left behind.”
Delivering Internet audio to the car is hard. Everyone on the "Dashboard Discussions" panel, which led off yesterday's RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas, agreed on that.
So far, implementations are all unique and different, and it's expensive to work with carmakers. Entercom Director of Digital Operations Amy Van Hook (top right) explained that's why her company is sticking with aggregations like TuneIn, or Entercom's mobile apps, to connect to cars for now. Chia-Lin Simmons, Aha by Harman VP/Marketing & Content, said it can cost a million dollars to get integrated into the car "head unit." Moderator Roger Lanctot of Strategy Analytics verified that automakers make hard to "scale" integrations.
But it's incredibly important to be in the car. Broadcasters can't walk away from this vital listening "theater," and newer audio sources need that audience to grow. jacAPPS president Paul Jacobs reminded the crowd that the car is both radio's number-one listening location, and carmakers are radio's number-one client...
So what are the strategies? Simmons' company is trying to bring the interactivity we've learned to expect from the desktop and mobile, in a safe way into the vehicle. The data her company collects can help content providers like webcasters better program, and better target ads. Rohling's TuneIn is also working at ways to help broadcasters monetize streams outside their local market.
But it's still that "local imperative," Jacbos said, "that makes radio important."
Technology research specialist Juniper Research suggests in a new research report, “Connected Cars Automotive Telematics & In-Vehicle Infotainment 2013-2017,” that as many as 20% of the cars on North American and West European roads in 2017 could be “connected” to IP networks via apps.
Ford wants to use the smartphone as a wireless hub, while GM is working with AT&T to pipe connectivity directly into its cars.
America’s biggest car makers have realized the cars they make are in fact the ultimate mobile devices – moving at speed, and pushing faster data speeds too. Both Ford and GM are moving to make their cars smarter with web capability, but they announced different strategies at Mobile World Congress today. While GM announced it was partnering with AT&T to bring wireless connectivity to its cars next year, Ford partnered with an Internet player, music streaming service Spotify, using iPhones as the wireless hubs for its cars.
Ford’s strategy offers more in-car development, sooner. It only has to wait for Spotify to release an update to its iOS app (which it says will be in the first quarter of this year) and drivers who have Ford SYNC in their car will be able to use Spotify in the Car with voice commands.
A global partnership with Spotify, announced today at Mobile World Congress, heralds a major push into Europe for Ford SYNC, the voice-activated in-car connectivity system, and Ford SYNC AppLink, which enables customers to control smartphone apps safely from the driver’s seat.
Paul Mascarenas, Ford chief technical officer and vice president, research and innovation said that Ford SYNC will feature in 3.5 million Ford vehicles in Europe by 2015. Helping the company reach this target will be the all-new European version of the EcoSport. Unveiled at Congress, the Ford EcoSport is one of the first Ford vehicles in Europe to offer Ford SYNC AppLink.
The integration of the music streaming service with Ford SYNC AppLink-equipped vehicles in both Europe and North America marks Spotify’s first direct collaboration with an automotive manufacturer. With 20 million users and five million paying subscribers, Spotify is currently available in 17 European countries, the USA, Australia and New Zealand.
Pascal de Mul, global head of hardware partnerships, Spotify, said that AppLink will enable drivers to access Spotify songs and playlists using voice commands including: “shuffle”, “repeat”, “star/unstar track”, “choose playlist”, “play music”, “recently played”, and “now playing”.
Ford also announced that it is working with three partners on European-tailored versions of AppLink apps previously launched in the US. Kaliki Audio Newsstand provides audible playback of newspaper and magazine articles; Glympse allows Ford drivers to share their location and estimated time of arrival with friends and family; Aha uses the cloud to safely enable internet-based entertainment and information allowing drivers to search for infotainment such as social media feeds, places to eat or stay and weather.
The connected car, once a concept, is now a reality and one that offers significant promise for the audience growth to online stations. One company that’s really driving the integration between your car and connectivity is Aha Radio. By the end of 2013, Aha will be installed into vehicles by more than 10 auto manufacturers which in total represent more than 50 percent of all cars sold in the USA/Canada and up to 30 percent in Europe.
The 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) runs today through Friday in Las Vegas, and we already have a torrent of announcements to report regarding in-car Internet radio.
- jacAPPS says new deal with Ford will make sure b'dcasters don't get shut out of digital dashboard - New 'Uconnect' system brings Pandora, iHeartRadio, Aha, and Slacker to Chryslers - Aha widens its in-car footprint with new Ford, Subaru, Chrysler, Porsche, and Alpine deals - Chevy, TuneIn, Rhapsody, Ford announce CES in-dash deals; Livio demo's new FM Connect
The average age of a car in the U.S. is now 11 years old – and that means that in the next year or so, many Americans will be in the market for a new vehicle. And many of these consumers will purchase one that is equipped with a system like Ford’s SYNC and Toyota’s Entune. This is significant because as we learned in Techsurvey8, a majority of our 57,300 respondents say the lion’s share of the broadcast radio listening takes place behind the wheel.