Slacker announced it will integrate with Ford vehicles via SYNC AppLink. It further says it will launch new Lifestyle stations with ABC News. For Slacker Premium subscribers, you will be able to listen to music on demand as well as a customizable radio station. The company says it offers the best of both worlds – the benefits of Spotify and Pandora in one.
The company provided me with a premium subscription months back and I am now an addict. In addition to the above benefits, it provides the ability to cache radio stations for times when you either don’t have great Internet access or are low and battery.
Although I am not allowed to share the company name, Slacker will have big news soon regarding integration with a well-known WiFi stereo solutions provider as well.
The big picture here is the fusion of consumer electronics, streaming radio and telematics/automotive tech.
The latest model Mercedes for example has an iPhone app which allows you to check things like distance to empty as well as the location of your car.
Its all coming together nicely and to me it seems the biggest challenge ahead is for terrestrial and satellite radio providers who have to deal with the additional overhead of running a satellite network and/or radio towers throughout a geographic region.
One issue remains – how will consumers deal with bandwidth caps? In other words in an all-you-can-eat world, streaming wins – right? In a pay-as-you-go world, we’ll have to see what happens.