Starting today, the connected car has been “unchained” thanks to the vision of Ford. And we’re excited to tell you that our mobile apps development company, jacAPPS, will play a co-starring role. We think it’s a big win for radio.
Since 2008 when we launched jacAPPS, we’ve been fortunate to have been selected by great broadcasters like Greater Media, Entercom, and many others to help them create great “stationalized” apps for their brands.
Combined with our annual visits to the Consumer Electronics Show (where we are today), we’ve been aggressively pushing the radio industry to take note of not only the rampant impact and growth of smartphones, but also the amazing confluence of mobile apps and the connected car. The automobile has long been the epicenter of radio listening, but as the dashboard has changed from two dials and five buttons to what is essentially a tablet, the stakes for radio have gotten higher.
Exactly three years ago at CES 2010, Paul interviewed Julius Marchwicki, Ford’s Product Manager for Mobile Application Connectivity. You can watch that video tour of SYNC©, and then think about how fast the technology has moved in just a few short years. This was precisely the moment when we first started imagining radio station branded apps as part of the digital dashboard. Now it’s a reality.
Today, if you own a car with Ford’s SYNC© or Toyota’s Entune or you’ve seen us speak on panels about the connected car at Convergence, RAIN, the NAB Radio Show, or the Arbitron Client Conference last month, you know exactly what we are talking about. While broadcast radio usage remains dominant in cars, accessibility to mobile apps via smartphones has exploded. Up to now, big national players like iHeartRadio, Pandora, NPR, and others have found their way onto the “center stack” of connected cars. But individual radio stations have been unable to claim their place on the digital dashboard.
Yesterday at CES, Ford told a packed house about a new initiative. They’re opening up their SYNC© AppLink™ system to individually branded apps. And they also announced that jacAPPS has been selected as their House Developer for the project. That’s right – if your station has its own app – whether we developed it or not – it can now be modified to work with vehicles equipped with SYNC© AppLink™. In that way, your station can be right there alongside the big boys, and your listeners can use hands-free voice commands to listen to your stream, access podcasts, and eventually, use other features on your apps.
In our new association with Ford, we are the “go to” guys for brands looking to expand their reach to the connected car by having their apps programmed to work with SYNC© AppLink™.
And this is just the first generation – there are many exciting enhancements ahead as we collaborate with Ford on helping radio safely expand its relationship with listeners while on the road.
It’s Car Radio 2.0 and we’re excited to be a player in this next chapter of radio history.
At the press conference yesterday, Ford talked about how this initiative is a major leap forward for the company and the industry. They started the presentation with a tribute to Henry Ford. This year marks the 150th anniversary of his birth, and much of Ford’s philosophy today reflects the DNA of its founder. His idea that every American should be able to benefit from the amazing technology of the automobile still resonates today.
Now in 2013, Ford has “unchained” its digital dashboard so that every radio station with a mobile presence can now have a prime position in the “center stack” – not just the biggest companies or just the major digital music brands. For consumers, this adds to the many options already available. For broadcast radio, it maintains its presence in the car on an equal playing field with satellite radio, Pandora, iPods, and the myriad of other choices.
And thanks to Ford, jacAPPS has been “unchained” to help the radio industry continue to claim its rightful – and essential – place in the connected car.
Ford truly has a better idea.
Let’s go for a ride.
If you’re interested in making your app compatible with Ford’s SYNC© AppLink™, contact Alex Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.