There’s a lot of buzz about Internet radio in cars at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. Pandora is in the middle of most of it. They have announced a deal with Pioneer that will make it easier for Pandora listeners to use their iPhones to listen in their cars. Pioneer will market a Pandora enabled navigation system that will detect iPhones and iTouches and put the user’s Pandora settings on the nav screen. The system will cost about $1200.
Ford announced several new apps for its Sync connected in-car communication system. Openbeak will read twitter messages while you drive (and enable steering wheel controls like skipping forward or going back). Stitcher “allows listeners to create personalized, on-demand Internet radio stations with news, talk and entertainment programming. Within the Stitcher app, users choose the programs they want “stitched” together, and the app then streams that content to the user’s mobile device. Pandora, according to the press release, is ” the most popular Internet radio service in the world. Users simply enter a favorite song or artist into Pandora and the app quickly creates personalized radio stations, based on that musical style.”
Pandora Founder Tim Westergren told WSJ.com “Maybe a year ago people would have said Pandora is a computer thing, Now, “they’re beginning to realize that Internet radio is an anytime, anywhere thing.”
Good news about Pandora at CES wasn’t just about the car though. Sony is debuting a personal Internet viewer called the Dash, which resembles the Chumby, and enables more than 1000 Chumby apps as well as Youtube and Pandora.
Vevo, the music video site powered by Youtube launches today. The site will feature videos from three of the four major record labels – Sony, Universal and EMI. Warner Music Group is the only one not working with Vevo, although they are working with YouTube.
Professionally produced music videos are the most popular content viewed on YouTube. Now Vevo will offer music fans music video content, along with an online music store offering music downloads, merchandise created by artists, concert tickets and more. In the future a music video subscription service, offering both short videos as well as streamed concerts is likely to be added.
Vevo has announced a pre-launch partnership with CBS Interactive and will offer extensive music programming from the vaults of the CBS Interactive Music Group’s properties including Last.fm and more than 90 CBS RADIO music stations beginning next year. “Last.fm and CBS RADIO’s stations are producing a tremendous amount of unique video content every day – from long form concerts such as the “Live on Letterman” webcast series and annual special events, to acoustic performances and one on one interviews,” says David Goodman, President of CBS Interactive Music Group. “We’re excited to be part of the next generation of music video services, and look forward to all the benefits that go along with Vevo’s massive audience and reach including increased awareness of our efforts in this space to new revenue generating opportunities.”
The combination of high quality video along with lyrics and access to lots of information on favorite artists is expected to appeal to advertisers and command top dollars. The site will launch with partnerships with AT&T, McDonalds and Mastercard.
A couple of new streaming music sites have launched recently that use YouTube, the massive video sharing site, as their source of music. Youtube has millions of songs on its site, including live shows, bootlegged copies, and stuff that’s hard to find elsewhere. In a new twist on streaming music services, TubeRadio and Muziic have come up with ways to turn Youtube into a jukebox for listeners.
Muziic was created by 15 year old developer David Nelson. It requires a download, has a neat user interface that offers you the chance to search for music, listen to Internet radio stations, watch music videos, build playlists, chat with friends, or post what you are listening to on Twitter. All the functions are right on the player, it’s very easy to use. I searched for the song that’s been in my head for the past few weeks, I’ve Got a Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas, and had the choice of watching them play it live in concert, or watching the Jonas Brothers play it live in concert, or any number of people play it on their guitars or dance to it, in their bedrooms, living rooms, or yards.
TubeRadio is a web based platform that does essentially the same thing. Because it is web based you can access it from anywhere. In addition to similar playlist building and socializing tools, it offers a pretty cool discography feature that enables you to type in any artists name, and have a list of the albums displayed. Choose an album, and TubeRadio will serve up a list of the songs in album order from the resources on YouTube for your listening pleasure.
British TubeRadio Founder Rogerio Mota said he noticed a friend who didn’t own much music used YouTube whenever she had friends over as a source of music, so he thought to create a more user friendly interface for building playlists. YouTube is a vast source of unique online music and related content – possibly the best source of live recordings and interviews on the web.
These services effectively put video options into streaming radio. Can you say game changer? I wouldn’t bet against it…