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Ivan Braiker

(MOBILE) Radio Revs Engines At CES

1-11-2013

As much as the Consumer Electronics Show is about new products, this years version is also about the old.

As I walk the aisles in the Las Vegas Convention Center, the word smart is everywhere. Smart TVs. Smart cars. And, yes, smart radio.

In this case, smart is about connectivity and personalization. All of our businesses need more of that when it comes to keeping our customers happy and winning new ones.

I certainly dont have to remind you that there are 241 million American radio listeners, including 93 percent of the population, according to RADAR.

The smart companies and innovators arent turning from these listeners they are looking to attract them.

Lets review the news:

 Clear Channel announced a deal to integrate its Internet-based iHeart Radio service into Chrysler and General Motors vehicles. The company also unveiled iHeartRadio for Auto, a made-for-driving version of its Internet radio app, which it is offering through a variety of after-market radio vendors.

 GM drivers will have access to a native and easy-to-use iHeartRadio experience directly from their dashboards, giving them the ability to personalize their listening experience by searching for both broadcast and custom stations and by using iHeartRadios exclusive Discovery Tuner to control how much variety they want in their music, Clear Channel said in a statement.

 Also, Ford Motor Co. has teamed up with Rhapsody to bring the on-demand music service to more than one million Ford and Lincoln vehicles, the companies announced today. The service is now available in cars and trucks equipped with Ford's Sync AppLink feature.

 As part of the partnership, Sync AppLink will now work seamlessly with the Rhapsody smartphone app. When a user fires up the Rhapsody app on their smartphone while in a Sync-enabled car, it will connect wirelessly via Bluetooth to play music through the vehicle's audio system. Sync AppLink is currently available in more than one million vehicles, including the 2013 Fiesta, Mustang, Expedition, Fusion, F-150, Super Duty, Focus, E-Series, and C-MAX.

In addition, HD Radio has a large booth at the Las Vegas Convention Center, playing up its interactive/clickable ads to drive new revenue steams enabled by digital radio broadcasting. Plus, it is making noise on music tagging and iTunes tagging.

In this case, what happens in Vegas doesnt stay there it impacts everything we do as broadcasters.

As weve discussed many times in this space, wireless is key in the creation and cultivation of tribes. Folks are reachable long after they leave their house, creating terrific opportunities to drive loyalty and ad revenue.

In cars and on their phones walking down Main Street, Americans in large numbers will be listening. We need to as well.

Ivan Braiker is the president of mobile marketing company Hipcricket. He can be reached at ivan@hipcricket.com.
Read more articles from Ivan HERE




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