TuneIn first to market with smartphone-free streaming


TuneInTuneIn, the global streaming service for PCs, smartphones and in-dash, announced its 200th distribution platform.  And, for the first time, TuneIn has been made available directly in the vehicle without using a smartphone. TuneIn is providing more than 70,000 stations from the popular service directly to Tesla Model S, the world’s first premium electric sedan.

With TuneIn, drivers can easily and with minimal distraction listen to sounds from around the world, like reggae from Jamaica, rock from London or even folk from Antarctica. Beyond this unmatched music variety, TuneIn provides live play-by-play sports with ESPN Radio, talk radio from the likes of WGN and CBS, or comedy and concerts from a selection of over 2 million on-demand programs.

“TuneIn offers Model S drivers the option to hear radio stations from around the world by easily navigating the service through the car’s 17” touchscreen,” said Craig Carlson, Tesla’s vice president of software and electrical integration.

TuneIn offers drivers the following benefits through Tesla’s packaged data plan:

— Unlimited listening to over 70,000 stations and 2 million on-demand programs

–Audio broadcasts from 230 countries and territories

–The ability to easily identify who is currently playing, simply by looking at the touchscreen or instrument cluster

–Access to the nation’s top broadcasters, including ESPN Radio and CBS Radio

“Tesla is a true innovator and Model S showcases a beautiful way to enhance what is already an amazing driving experience through seemingly endless listening options on TuneIn,” said John Donham, CEO, TuneIn. “We strive to bring the TuneIn service to as many places as possible so our listeners can enjoy their favorite songs, teams and personalities whenever they want. We are honored to be part of Tesla’s vision and are thrilled to hit this milestone of our 200th platform.”

With availability on the Model S, TuneIn is now available on 200 different platforms including smartphone apps, connected vehicle dashboards, Internet home entertainment systems and online at www.tunein.com.

RBR-TVBR asked Donham how the Tesla connects directly to the internet, and his views on how other automakers likely have this in the works (smartphone-free internet access)?:

“We are so happy with how TuneIn is featured in the Model S, and this is the first implementation of TuneIn within an automobile that doesn’t require a smartphone. Given the Model S uses its own data plan, drivers can access music, sports and news from around the world without needing to tether their device. Although this is unique right now, we foresee a time in the next few years where more automotive manufacturers will shift to this model.”

RBR-TVBR observation: It’s good news and bad news for consumers. The good news is—yes—they no longer need to rely on keeping a smartphone connected and charged to listen to internet radio in the car. The bad news is getting IP service with a car is going to cost them additional dollars—whether the service is offered by the automaker or whether they can (eventually) get the service through Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, etc.