Thursday, December 21, 2017

GM Turns 1M Cars Into Rolling Podcast Destinations

General Motors is turning a million of its newest models into rolling podcast speakers, part of an ongoing effort by automakers to woo drivers with technology and not horsepower.

The automaker announced Thursday that it has partnered with eight news and entertainment companies — ranging from Fox Sports to the New York Times to USA TODAY — to provide podcasts through apps that are downloadable via the vehicle's onboard 4G LTE connection, thereby turning the car into its own content provider even if you leave your cellphone at home.

While the apps and their content are free, they will only work for those driving 2017 and 2018 GM models equipped with the Shop icon found in the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system and an active data plan that is distinct from a user’s cellphone plan.

The apps also features podcast offerings from The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, NPR One, People magazine and Dash Radio. They join other apps already living on the GM in-car platform, including Pandora and The Weather Channel.

For years, drivers have been able to bring their digital preferences into vehicles through smartphones connected to vehicle infotainment systems featuring Apple Car Play and Android Auto, both of which are supported by General Motors.

But having a suite of news, sports and entertainment apps that live in the car and not just on a smartphone should make it easier for the driver, while content companies get a valuable new way to connect with their audience outside of a website or phone.

McFarland said this initial eight-app rollout aimed to spotlight "partners who could make the driving experience more interesting." Future app additions could be focused on home automation features that allow drivers the ability to access in-home electronics such as lighting and garage doors.

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