Slacker Radio is bringing its 200 “expert-programmed” stations of news, talk, sports, and music to the automobile industry. Announced at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show, Chrysler Group has integrated the music service into their cars.
Consumers who purchase vehicles with the manufacturer’s Uconnect system, will have a much different in-car experience than if they had a traditional radio.
This partnership with Chrysler is the first of many that the company said it hopes to announce over the course of the year. Car owners will find that it’s very similar to the Ford Sync that’s powered by Microsoft, in that it’s voice-activated so the driver keeps both hands on the wheel while the car is in motion. While this is great news for Slacker, only those who have purchased the 2013 SRT Viper or the 2013 RAM 1500 will be able to take advantage of the service since only those two cars are equipped with Uconnect Access.
Jonathan Sasse, Slacker’s senior vice president of products and programming, said that the service will bring the “most complete music service on earth to Chrysler’s Uconnect 8.4AN and 8.4A system.” In a statement, the company says that this new feature integrates Slacker, along with Aha, iHeart Radio, and Pandora into the Uconnect Access platform. The content is streamed right through your smartphone data plan and leverages what Chrysler calls its “high-quality sound systems featured in all vehicles equipped with Uconnect Access.”
Similar to Pandora and other music-sharing services, Slacker operates as a new form of radio that is personalized for the listener’s enjoyment. To start, pick an existing station or create one by choosing a favorite band or genre. From there, it’s easy listening as tailored music will play one after another. The company says that favorites can be added through the “Heart” button and those that prove to be annoying can be blocked with the “Ban” button.
Traditional radio seems to slowly be becoming extinct in vehicles. As smartphones become more integrated into the driving experience, manufacturers appear to be trying to help car owners use them in a smart, but safe, manner. With Pandora, Spotify, Slacker, and other services becoming more popular everyday, companies are definitely interested in bringing those services into their cars.
Honda last month became the latest automotive partner that signed up with Pandora. It already has BMW, Buick, Chevy, Ford, GMC, Hyundai, Lexus, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, and several others. The year is still early for Slacker so it could soon be rolling out some new partnerships to increase its reach in 2013. It already has Acura, Ford, Honda, Toyota Scion, and Tesla integrating its music service.
It looks like the battle for automobile market share will be determined not by mileage, but by the amount of mobile technology can be squeezed into a vehicle.
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