Android, Pandora to Provide In-Car Services

Multi-platform online marketing will need to include a new dimension because of this latest news: Google has teamed up with chip designer Nvidia and four giant car companies for the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA). Google will be developing Android-based in-car services for new Audi, GM, Honda, and Hyundai units.

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Google Android announced it will be developing in-car services for Audi, GM, Honda and Hyundai units.

Seamless Switching of Devices

“[There’s] still an important device that isn’t yet connected as seamlessly to the other screens in our lives – the car,” wrote Patrick Brady, Director of Android Engineering, in Android’s official blog announcing the formation of the OAA.

“Together with our OAA partners, we’re working to enable new forms of integration with Android devices, and adapting Android for the car to make driving safer, easier, and more enjoyable for everyone,” Brady says. “Putting Android in the car will bring drivers apps and services they already know and love, while enabling automakers to more easily deliver cutting-edge technology to their customers.”

In-Car Advertising

Meanwhile, those in the United States will soon have Pandora in their dashboards. The internet radio service provider also announced they will be expanding their reach for in-car advertising solutions. According to Pandora, they already have access to 9 out of the 10 best-selling passenger cars. With the expansion, they will be running 15- and 30-second audio ads across 130 vehicle models and 270 aftermarket car devices.

Internet radio service provider Pandora will be offering in-car audio advertising spots to targeted audiences beginning this January.
Internet radio service provider Pandora will be offering in-car audio advertising spots to targeted audiences beginning this January.

“Nearly half of all radio listening takes place in the car. We knew early on that to redefine radio, we would need to seamlessly deliver Pandora through in-dash entertainment systems,” says Simon Fleming-Wood, Chief Marketing Officer of Pandora. “[We] are now seizing the opportunity to connect advertisers with a more targeted audience than traditional radio can provide.”

Pandora has teamed up with BP, Ford Motor Company, State Farm and Taco Bell to test the expanded in-car paid advertising feature. They have already begun rolling out these solutions this month.

What This Means for Your Business

Google Android and Pandora aren’t the first of their kind to explore the unique marketing opportunities the automotive industry offers. Apple has already done this to a lesser extent by making iOS compatible with multiple car systems, and through iBeetle, which features a special app and docking station to integrate the iPhone with the Volkswagen Beetle. More recently, 3G and LTE connectivity have been announced to be made available in vehicles as well, allowing drivers to go online through their in-dash systems.

The opportunities you are looking at immediately for online marketing in cars include the following:

  • Optimization for Voice Search. The members of the OAA and other in-car service providers will want to create safe apps and information sources for drivers and their passengers. You can expect most of the apps to be voice-activated, and voice search will be integrated heavily.
  • Audio Ads and Local Search Marketing. Optimizing audio ads for various Internet radio service providers may let you reach a new market altogether. The best part about this is you can target them even as they are moving – your audience can be segmented based on their current location, as tracked through their GPS, 3G/LTE or Wi-Fi car signals.
  • Seamless Integrated Marketing. The great thing about cars using existing mobile operating systems like Android and iOS is that there are practices already in place for optimizing for these platforms, which is a good starting point. The extent of integration isn’t quite clear yet, but you will have to focus on audio ads (as mentioned earlier) and developing car-friendly apps and mobile website features.

We’d be happy to explore these opportunities with you and discuss how you can prepare for the coming of this technology. Contact us today to get started.


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