jacAPPS says new deal with Ford will make sure b'dcasters don't get shut out of digital dashboard

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 12:10pm

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.

The first is Ford Motor Company has named jacAPPS, the mobile app development division of radio consulting firm Jacobs Media, a "recommended mobile app development house" for its new Ford Developer Program. This means jacAPPS will develop, as well as work with other third-party developers, to create voice-activated smartphone apps for radio to work with Ford's SYNC AppLink.

The AppLink allows a driver to control digital apps from the steering wheel or using radio buttons. And while the audio entertainment available in such systems so far has been dominated by newer, digital services or apps that aggregate content, the new partnership "will allow AM/FM stations to have parity on the vehicle’s digital screen," says jacAPPS.

"Individual radio stations no longer have to be concerned about their place on the dashboards of 'connected cars' based on jacAPPS experience," read the jacAPPS announcement. "Beginning today, owners of Ford SYNC AppLink enabled vehicles will be able to access local radio station apps thanks to jacAPPS’ extensive experience working in radio to create mobile apps providing streaming capability and on-demand content services."

The company named broadcaster Greater Media its radio partner for the announcement. Sixteen of its station apps are now available with SYNC AppLink functionality.

Roles for both traditional radio and new tech in ReadWriteWeb's view of radio in the future

Friday, December 14, 2012 - 12:05pm

The ReadWriteWeb blog counts podcast aggregator Stitcher, plus Pandora, Clear Channel, Spotify, and NPR "five companies that will define the future of radio."

It's through efforts like partnerships with automakers, battling for royalty reform, a third party app platform (Spotify), cross-platform availability, and APIs for other products that ReadWrite says will prove to be part of the formula for these companies' success.

"Under-the radar" upstarts like, the Hype Machine, SoundCloud, and The Echo Nest get "honorable mention" nods.

Read the blog here.

Ford Sync helped bring Net radio to cars, but consumer response still "tepid" to system in general

Friday, November 9, 2012 - 1:35pm

Ford and Microsoft are celebrating 5 years of the Ford Sync in-car connectivity platform, and its installation on 5 million vehicles. SYNC was first announced on Jan. 7, 2007 at the International CES. It was one of the very first of this technology that's now offered by nearly every car manufacturer.

But as the Verge writes, "A tepid response from drivers could be why it's taken Ford five years to install Sync in five million vehicles, but the fact that the system doesn't come as a standard option in the manufacturer's full range — Ford claims that Sync is installed of 70% of its cars 'in general' — no doubt contributed to that sluggish growth."

Ford Sync enables in-car connectivity to content sources like iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Pandora, and Stitcher (among very many others).

Read the press release here, and the Verge here.

MLB mobile app update includes Ford SYNC integration

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 12:50pm

MLBA new update for the MLB At Bat 2012 iPhone app includes support for Ford's SYNC AppLink dashboards. That makes it much easier for Ford drivers to stream radio MLB coverage from around the country to their car stereos.

The Next Web reports the app has been downloaded more than 5 million times this year. Read more coverage here.

Company will deliver custom local deals to car dashboards

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - 12:00pm

Ford SYNCRoximity aims to bring personalized, local deals and offers to drivers through dashboard systems like Ford SYNC. In fact, the service even won the Ford SYNC App Developer Challenge last year.

The service recently raised $500,000 in investment, reports The Next Web. And it says to look forward to "big announcements" coming in early August.

An interesting service, Roximity may prove to be another example of digital services edging in on territory traditionally held by AM/FM radio.

You can find more coverage from The Next Web here.

Ford adds MOG to in-car Sync system; Mazda to integrate Pandora

Thursday, June 7, 2012 - 11:40am

MOG and Ford SyncYet another streaming music service has arrived on Ford dashboards. The on-demand service MOG is now supported through the automaker's Sync system.

Listeners can control MOG playback via voice commands, just like they can already do with Pandora, TuneIn, Slacker, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and other music services. Commands include "Artist only," or "similar artists," or even "shuffle favorites." Users can even create presets like they would for AM/FM stations.

A connected smartphone is required to listen to streaming music services in Ford vehicles. Engadget has more coverage here.

Meanwhile, Mazda will add Pandora to its models later this year. Users will be able to control Pandora playback -- including thumbs-ups and -downs -- via their Mazda dashboard. Pandora-friendly Mazdas are expecting to arrive this fall

Pandora says it now has partnerships with 19 automotive brands. You can find its press release here.

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