Ford Motor Co. has entered a tie-up with Rhapsody International Inc. whose internet music service will now be offered in over a million Ford and Lincoln vehicles. The service is set to be presented at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Those driving Ford’s Sync-enabled cars and trucks can take advantage of the voice commands and buttons on the steering wheel to control functions on their smartphones.
Since many U.S. consumers listen to music while driving, it makes sense that cars will be able to offer Web music services such as Pandora Media Inc. Rhapsody, the Seattle-based online company, said that about 40% of its subscribers use the service while they’re behind the wheel. Voice commands and steering wheel buttons are considered a safer way for the service to run on Bluetooth-linked smartphones.
Jon Irwin, president of Rhapsody, said that customers recognize the limitations of terrestrial radio and Sirius XM satellite radio. He said that customers want to have total access to their music while driving. He also said that Rhapsody is in talks with other automakers about integrating the service. Last December, Pandora said that 75 models already offer this service.
Ford Sync is offered on the 2013 Fiesta, Mustang, Expedition, Fusion, F-150, Super Duty, Focus, E-Series and C- MAX. Furthermore, Ford has been able to integrate Pandora, Slacker Media Inc.’s web radio and Clear Channel Communications Inc’s iHeartRadio. Elizabeth Halash, AppLink product development engineer for Ford, said that the company seeks to give its customers numerous options. She said that those who are already Rhapsody users may want to use this in the car too.