RAIN 6/12: Apple bringing upgraded Siri into cars

Michael Schmitt
June 12, 2012 - 11:35am

Siri in carsApple yesterday announced a series of partnerships with automakers to bring the voice-control system Siri into cars witin the next 12 months. Drivers will be able to press a button on the car dashboard, then speak a command (like "launch Pandora" or "open iHeartRadio" or "play AccuRadio").

"With the Eyes Free feature, ask Siri to call people, select and play music, hear and compose text messages, use Maps and get directions, read your notifications, find calendar information, add reminders, and more," Apple said (according to PC Mag here).

Automakers on-board with the new integration include BMW, Mercedes, GM, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler and Honda. The system will require a connected iPhone.

"By leveraging Siri's natural language voice control platform, theoretically drivers will be able to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road to minimize distracted driving," comments CNet (here).

The Verge notes that cars won't sport a custom "Siri Button," but instead Siri will just use the "already built-in general voice activation buttons." Apple also announced new features for Siri, including the ability to launch third-party apps, perfect for firing up Internet radio apps safely while driving.

The Verge has more coverage here and here.

Michael Schmitt
June 12, 2012 - 11:35am

Web revenue growthInternet ad revenue in the first quarter this year grew 15% year-over-year, reaching $8.4 billion, according to the most recent IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report. "Growth in the double-digits is a positive sign for digital-media companies, as they look to bring more offline ad dollars online," writes AdAge

Radio-Info compares that figure to the Radio Advertising Bureau's reported $3.8 billion revenue for radio (up 1%). "That means the Internet haul is more than twice the size of radio" (find more here).

That said, AdAge notes (here) "this year's first-quarter total marks slower growth than the industry experienced in the same quarter last year when revenue increased 24% from the $5.9 billion booked in the first quarter of 2010."

Paul Maloney
June 12, 2012 - 11:35am

The NBC Sports Group and Dial Global have announced their partnership to launch the NBC Sports Radio Network in September, featuring hourly sports news updates and full-length shows.

In addition to distribution to terrestrial broadcasters, the NBC Sports Network will stream live shows via NBCSports.com, DialGlobalSports.com, and affiliate stations' websites. The network will also offer On-demand short-form audio content (via podcast, for example).

Dial Global will be the exclusive ad and affiliate sales rep for the network.

Earlier this year, NBC News partnered with Dial Global to create NBC News Radio.

Michael Schmitt
June 12, 2012 - 11:35am

Meeker's mobile statsAccording to a recent presentation from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers' Mary Meeker, Pandora's ahead of some other major web companies in terms of mobile monetization.

Meeker's recent presentation at the D10 conference (RAIN coverage here) included a comparison of desktop/mobile monetization rates among Pandora, Tencent (a Chinese web portal) and Zynga. According to the chart, Pandora monetizes its desktop audience 1.7 times more than mobile, compared to 3.3 for Tencent and 5.0 for Zynga.

"The good news is that mobile monetization will catch up," writes Jennifer Lane in Audio4Cast. "In fact Meeker says that in 1 – 3 years it will surpass desktop." You can find Audio4Cast's coverage here.