LAS VEGAS – Rhapsody and Ford today announce at International CES that the leading premium on-demand music service is now available in Ford and Lincoln vehicles with SYNC® AppLink™. Rhapsody listeners with SYNC-enabled cars and trucks can use voice commands and radio buttons on the steering wheel to control the Rhapsody app on their smartphones, making it safe and easy to rock out on the road.
This marks Rhapsody’s first full automotive integration, and a major step forward in the company’s strategy to bring the popular service to the places where listeners spend the most time playing music: in the car and in the living room.
“Everybody loves to listen to music in the car, so making it as convenient as possible for people to enjoy Rhapsody while driving has been a high priority for us,” said Jon Irwin, president, Rhapsody. “We were pleased to work with Ford on this innovative integration. Now our customers have their favorite music within arm’s reach in their cars.”
Rhapsody members are increasingly taking their music on the road. In a recent survey of more than 1,000 Rhapsody members, 40 percent said they listened to Rhapsody in the car, more than any other form of audio entertainment (only 13 percent listen to the radio).
How Rhapsody members use audio entertainment in the car
Streaming Rhapsody (via mobile device) 40%
Playlists (downloaded from Rhapsody or on phone or MP3 player) 22%
Source: Survey of Rhapsody members, n=1,396
Actual behavioral data from Rhapsody’s 1 million-plus base shine more light on members’ mobile inclinations. Fifty-one percent of all tracks played on the service this past year were from a mobile device, up from 27 percent in 2011. In addition, 56 percent of Rhapsody members listen on a mobile device, up from 38 percent the year prior, with 42 percent of all members using mobile exclusively for the service.
The beauty of SYNC AppLink is that it works seamlessly with the Rhapsody smartphone app. When Rhapsody is launched on a smartphone while in a SYNC-enabled car, it will connect wirelessly via Bluetooth® to the vehicle’s audio system for hands-free listening.
SYNC AppLink is available on more than 1 million vehicles; it is available on 2013 Fiesta, Mustang, Expedition, Fusion, F-150, Super Duty, Focus, E-Series and C-MAX.