CANNES, France – Ford SYNC AppLink – a system that offers drivers voice-control of smartphone music apps – is coming to Europe.
SYNC AppLink, which is being showcased at Midem, a music industry conference in Cannes, France, enables drivers on the move to listen to their favourite radio stations and songs streamed to the car via their smartphone. AppLink is targeted for launch in Europe later this year.
Ford SYNC AppLink customers in North America already have access to more streaming services than with any other automotive manufacturer. The growing selection of services available in the USA features Amazon Cloud Player, iHeartRadio, TuneIn Radio, Pandora, Rhapsody, MOG, Aha, Slacker and Greater Media. Ford will announce the first apps available in Europe in the near future.
Ford recently launched the automotive industry’s first open mobile app developer programme for AppLink. Unveiled at the 2013 International CES in Las Vegas, the Ford Developer Programme enables developers to create their own SYNC voice-control apps for services from connected smartphones. This approach will allow the European app development community to deliver access to an array of music and entertainment services and content for Ford drivers.
“The car is no longer just a tool for getting from A to B, and customers want access to the same extended connectivity and entertainment options in their cars as when outside their cars,” said Paul Mascarenas, Ford chief technical officer and vice president, Research and Innovation. “SYNC AppLink will enable drivers around the world to maximise the potential of their favourite music services, offering them the broadest range of music and internet radio stations while on the move.”
Mascarenas will speak at Midem’s Visionary Monday panel discussion on the topic, “Towards a Connected Life,” with Ford becoming the first automotive manufacturer to deliver a keynote address at the event.
According to Ford AppLink partner Rhapsody, half of all tracks played on its service in 2012 were from a mobile device, up from 27 per cent in 2011. In addition, 56 per cent of Rhapsody members listened to music on a mobile device, up from 38 per cent from 2011, with 42 per cent of all members using mobile exclusively for the service.
The BPI, which represents the British recorded music industry, says music fans streamed audio tracks more than 3.7 billion times during 2012 in Britain alone. Digital music streaming was forecast by Strategy Analytics to be the fastest growing industry sector for 2012, with revenues increasing 40 per cent and at almost five times the rate of download revenues.