Slacker Drives Into Automobiles With Harman Aha Deal
By Antony Bruno (AntonyNBruno)
Looks like the car is now the cool place to hang out if you're a digital music service. Slacker is pushing its way into the vehicle via a partnership with in-car entertainment service Aha.
Created by Harman, the Aha service offers such features as news, traffic, social media fees and now through the deal with Slacker… music. Slacker is also powering personalized news feeds from ABC and personalizes sports information from ESPN.
The deal covers Slacker's new on-demand streaming capabilities, as well as its personalized radio and programmed genre stations. It is expected to go live this fall.
The Aha service connects to the Internet via audio systems from Pioneer-- sold as after-market options to drivers--connected to a smartphone with the Aha free app downloaded.
Slacker has been actively approaching the automotive space primarily through car audio OEM companies. Slacker previously struck a deal with Visteon, which create in-car audio units installed in the car at the point of sale, although no cars have yet been released with the integrated system.
While extending digital music services into automobiles is an obvious strategy, seeing as so much music is listened to in cars, it's also a challenging one given the length of time it takes. Automobile design and production cycles are in the years, not months. So that's why we're seeing so much after-market attention in the short term.