Tune in to TuneIn Radio to Stream Music to your Car

January 12, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

If you thought TuneIn has done the best to bring you closer to music, you thought wrong. It can do more, actually it is doing more.

The company is reportedly ramping up efforts to bring its service to your cars.

TuneIn announced that it is being integrated into Ford’s Sync AppLink platform, which enables users of Ford Sync-enabled vehicles to control apps using voice controls.

Users will be able to access TuneIn Radio’s more than 50,000 FM, AM, HD and Internet radio stations, and will be able to conduct voice searches for artists or genres or explore top stations using their location information.

There are tons of compelling content on the radio all the time but there hasn’t been a spectacular interface for finding it. We see that as a huge opportunity, said John Donham, CEO of TuneIn.

TuneIn had earlier announced its plan to car mode for its Android app, allowing users to use voice commands to conduct searches and find music.

John Donham said that about 100,000 TuneIn Radio users utilize the service through in-car solutions, though many more probably connect to the service with in-car Bluetooth.

But he believes there’s a great opportunity to expand TuneIn’s presence, because about half of radio listening is done in-car.

TuneIn is already in use on more than 150 devices such as the Logitech Squeezebox and Sonos’ line of connected speaker.

And it’s been integrated into certain BMW and Mini vehicles, but that service was white labeled. Now, the company is planning to close deals with other brands as well.

Donham said TuneIn’s ability to find relevant music and content for users is a big step up over existing radio, which is still one of the most popular ways for people to discover new music.

He also said that future deployments of TuneIn in vehicles will be able to integrate with a car’s FM chip to provide local stations, and then seamlessly switch over to streaming radio when a car travels beyond FM broadcasting range.

Donham thinks things will get digital as time passes. We are seeing people using digital dashboard rather than their analog dash, he said.

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