More competitors are entering the contest to control drive-time listening and advertising. Now, digital ad network TargetSpot will begin placing ads in streaming audio content piped into cars by Livio Connect.
Livio Connect allows drivers to bring important digital radio apps to their cars via CSR Bluetooth chips. Livio Connect also has aftermarket audio integration via hardware produced by Dice Electronics. Its technology is compatible with Android, iOS and BlackBerry.
App partners currently include 977 Music, AccuRadio, Digitally Imported, Grooveshark, jacAPPS, Live365 and Rdio, as well as Livio’s own proprietary in-car listening app.
TargetSpot CEO Eyal Goldwerger stated: “Digital radio in-car is a game changer: until now, morning drive time has been served by over-the-air radio, but as digital access becomes more readily available in auto, this will change… Advertisers can reach their desired target audiences wherever they are listening and whatever their listening preferences may be.”
As noted, TargetSpot and Livio are just two players looking to bring digital audio content and advertising to consumers in their automobiles. The list of competitors includes Internet radio leader Pandora, whose founder Tim Westergren declared in October 2010: "Our goal is to be in every new car that rolls off the manufacturing line.”
To that end, Pandora has partnered with major automakers, including Ford, Toyota, Hyundai and Mercedes, as well as radio manufacturers Alpine and Pioneer, whose after-market products allow drivers to access Pandora from car dashboards.
This past November, Ford announced it will make Slacker available in new cars via the Ford Sync AppLink, which allows drivers to import various online apps, including media content, via a smartphone connection. To ensure the safety of drivers, the Ford Sync AppLink allows drivers to control the Slacker online audio service with voice command. The Slacker app integration also allows drivers to store music for listening in areas where they don’t get cell phone reception.