The Connected Car and the Future of Music

image from electronstuff.com The connected car will shift the music landscape. Experts argue that in little as four years' time, we will see "near saturation" in the U.S. market. This development has real implications for the future of music. Once cars become a Wi-Fi enabled, voice-controlled credit card on wheels, it shifts the paradigm.

The Connected Car

The first implication is that drivers will be able to install Pandora and MOG apps into the dash of their cars. This we know. The second element is what makes this interesting. For the first time, drivers will be able to buy songs on the radio as they're hearing them, have them loaded in to their hard drive, and sync them with their digital devices. This is huge. 50% of radio listening happens in the car.

Previously, drivers would hear songs, not know what they are, and fail to buy them. If, by chance, they caught the name of the band at the end of the set, they could visit a store and buy it. In the future, drivers will be able to command their car, "Buy this song." It will be loaded in and they will be able to sync it to their digital devices. It doesn't get more convenient and instantly gratifying than that.

The connected car will have a Financial GPS solution. Rather than being billed one song at a time, music will just be another line on your monthly statement.

The Future of Music

Prepare for an all-out war in a connected car near you. The music space will heat-up with competitors once the puzzle of getting in cars is figured out. Once the connected car becomes a social norm, traditional radio will be just another app. Once the connected car becomes a social norm, it will be a mobile iTunes.

The future: You drive by a venue, you're alerted that your favorite band is playing, you buy a ticket in-car, and attend a show you wouldn't have otherwise.

Music meets the connected car. It will change the game and create a new one.

(Editor's note: This video is from 2009, but it is still a good overview.)

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  1. “If, by chance, they caught the same of the band…”
    “you drive by a venue, your alerted that your favorite band is playing…”
    blogs move too fast to check for typos these days. what gives?

  2. I disagree about the connected car leading to more iTunes purchases and downloads.
    The listening experience will be shifting to access rather than ownership (IE, streaming, not downloading) and I believe that the connected car further facilitates this. “Tag as favorite in Spotify” will be a preferred command, instead of “Buy from iTunes.” On-demand access to all music ever, in your car, with custom playlist. THAT’S where it will be monetized.
    Additionally, my hope is that having internet access in your car will lead to more music discovery while driving. Instead of having to pick one of the 5 local radio stations (which play mainly commercials and well-known songs), drivers will be able to access hundreds (thousands?) of radio stations from around the world. THAT will be awesome.

  3. Agree.
    Though I think choice is sought for mostly by devoted music lovers, and not by general listeners. So will all this diversity scare them? My guess is yes…

  4. For anything more interactive than basic audio playback, the highway safety people will go ballistic. So I predict. See the recent moves to get serious about stopping drivers from text-messaging while driving.
    Consumer Reports also lashed out recently at a car manufacturer for a touch-screen entertainment and climate control panel, claiming it was unsafe for the driver to operate — it couldn’t be operated by no-look feel.

  5. In the NYTimes today, op-ed regular Gail Collins writes a scathing piece about the safety implications of the “connected car.”
    If someone has a car accident while they are trying to buy tickets to a nearby venue, could the venue be sued? The ticket app? Whoever decided selling tickets within an automobile was a good idea? We may find out.

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