Innovative technology for connective cars continues, this week Pioneer Electronics debuted a new line-up of in-dash receivers that offer bluetooth and usb connectivity for Androids and iPhones. These affordable, aftermarket products make it even easier for consumers to connect and listen to streaming audio in their car, featuring Siri technology for voice commands, simplified Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling and audio streaming, enhanced playback compatibility, and Pandora internet radio.
“The smartphone has become a part of most consumers’ lifestyles and a source of both entertainment and communication,” said Ted Cardenas, vice president of marketing for the Car Electronics Division of Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. “Pioneer’s new CD receivers provide various means for integrating a variety of smartphones into the vehicle.”
At prices starting at $90. That sounds like a pretty affordable price point to me.
Pandora continues to lead the pack of services that come integrated into the new offerings, they recently announced that they are now integrated with more than 100 car models and 23 manufacturers. That doesn’t mean other services are unavailable – just that Pandora is front and center as the featured service in the car. Mazda recently integrated Pandora into its 2014 Mazda6, incorporating voice commands that make listening while driving very easy and fun.
Pioneer Electronics Ted Cardenas and Pandora’s Director of Automotive Business Development Geoff Snyder will join a panel discussion at RAIN Summit Orlando on Dashboard Integration. Other panelists include Ford’s Global Lead, Business Development and Partner Management Scott Burnell, Slacker SVP Steve Cotter, and TuneIn VP Kevin Straley.
RAIN Summit Orlando takes place Tuesday September 17 starting at noon and finishing with a cocktail reception in the evening. Register here, and use the code Audio4cast to save a few bucks. I hope to see you there!
Broadcast business solution provider Marketron timed their announcement that they purchased mSnap to hit during the Radio Show last week. With all the buzz about mobile at the show, it was good thinking. Marketron, owned by Wicks, is a powerhouse in the broadcast radio business solutions marketplace – last week separate employees of the company were telling me that their market share is 70 or 80%.
Marketron’s been focused on integrating their platform, which provides tools to broadcasters for scheduling, tracking, inventory management and billing, with other solutions providers that enable new types of inventory, including streaming and mobile. Earlier this year they announced a partnership with AndoMedia to facilitate the scheduling, delivery and billing of broadcasters’ streaming assets.
The mSnap acquisition enables companies to sell and fulfill both mobile and broadcast assets in the same single, integrated platform. This will eliminate the operational complexity of managing the sale of diverse advertising assets through multiple systems and processes.
“Mobile is one of the fastest growing advertising segments in our industry and mSnap has established itself as an innovative leader in the category,” said Mike Pallad, Executive Vice President of Sales for Citadel Broadcasting. “The acquisition of the company by Marketron, which offers a host of cross-channel solutions for media companies, will increase mSnap’s capabilities and development. We’re proud of our partnerships with Marketron and mSnap and look forward to the benefits this merger will offer our stations and advertisers.”
This is a really wise move for Marketron, one that will benefit them and their clients as well as the industry as a whole. Tools that make it easier for broadcasters to manage their inventory will inevitably increase the value of those assets. As broadcasters adopt revenue strategies that include more and more diverse inventory sets, smart platforms like this make that inventory manageable, trackable, and therefore more valuable.
(In the interest of full disclosure, which I believe the bloggers in our industry need to be more respectful of, I have done some consulting with Marketron in the past.)