At last year’s CES, Aha Radio brought its hyper-connected social media ways to two high-end Pioneer head units. This year, however, the service is about to make a bigger splash by announcing it’ll be built into select 2013 Subaru and Honda vehicles. Equipped autos will have access to “thousands of personalized, web-enabled stations” like MOG, Rhapsody and Slacker, appearing as a selectable source alongside more traditional AM, FM and satellite radio options. And naturally it’ll integrate with Aha’s iPhone and Android apps. If a new vehicle isn’t to your liking, Kenwood will also start integrating the service into head units later in 2012. We’ll get hands-on with the above system in a Subaru’s new BRZ soon
Aha Advances Driver Connectivity
With Web-Connected “Fourth Band” of Radio
Subaru and Kenwood join Pioneer in integrating with Aha’s Cloud-based Infotainment Platform that Now Includes Tens of Thousands of Stations of Web Content
Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Las Vegas, NV – January 10, 2012 – AhaTM by HARMAN, an interactive platform that makes web content safe for drivers today announced new automotive and content partnerships that will bring web-connected infotainment safely to millions of drivers, right through the radio. Honda and Subaru are currently working with Aha to integrate with the Aha platform starting with model year 2013 vehicles. Kenwood has also announced that it will begin shipping Aha-integrated aftermarket head units this Spring. Honda, Subaru and Kenwood customers will be able to access all of Aha’s stations right from the car’s infotainment system. Aha also announced partnerships with top content providers to expand Aha’s platform to tens of thousands of personalized, web-enabled stations that cover everything from music, news and social streams to travel and audiobooks.
“Drivers want easy access to their web content in the car, publishers want to get their music, news and information to drivers, and car companies want to give drivers a safe and up-to-date experience. Until Aha, it was very hard to do any of these, much less all three,” said Robert Acker, HARMAN VP and General Manager of Aha. “By partnering with companies like Honda, Subaru, Kenwood, CBS, Rhapsody, and NPR in addition to our existing partners like Pioneer and Slacker, Aha has become the web-connected “fourth band” of the car radio, alongside AM, FM and satellite radio. Aha’s platform uniquely enables drivers to safely and easily access great audio content from around the web, and transforms non-audio web content into radio stations. This is just the beginning of the automotive and content deals we’ll announce this year.”
Aha announced partnerships with Honda and Subaru that will seamlessly bring Aha into Honda and Subaru vehicles to let drivers interact with web-based content right through the radio. Honda and Subaru are among the first automotive manufacturers to integrate Aha’s service into their vehicles.
Kenwood will also integrate Aha in its next generation of aftermarket head units for the car. It joins Pioneer which began integrating Aha into aftermarket units in 2011 and is expanding Aha to additional aftermarket units in 2012. A number of other car manufacturers are integrating Aha but have yet to make announcements.
Aha and CBS Radio jointly announced today a partnership that will bring CBS’s stations to drivers and other users of the Aha Radio platform. This partnership allows Aha Radio to distribute CBS Radio content via mobile devices and directly into vehicles. CBS Radio will join a wide breadth of content already available on Aha including Slacker, Facebook, and Twitter. Aha has also recently signed content deals with NPR, Entertainment Radio Network, MOG, Rhapsody, and AOL SHOUTcast Radio, which will become available this year. In total these new partnerships expand Aha’s offerings from hundreds of stations to tens of thousands of personalized stations.
In addition to the content and car deals, Aha has also announced that it will launch a new Android app and update its iPhone app in the first quarter of 2012.
Aha is a part of HARMAN International (NYSE: HAR) the premium global audio and infotainment group.
About Aha by HARMAN
Aha, a unit of HARMAN International Industries, is the first interactive platform that makes web content safe for drivers. Aha organizes content from the web into personalized, live and on-demand radio stations that consumers can listen to from anywhere – at home, on the go, or safely from the driver’s seat. Aha is currently working with five automotive manufacturers who will be launching model 2013 vehicles with consumer services based on Aha’s cloud-based platform. The Aha Platform and Service was started in 2008 by a group of web and multimedia veterans with a shared passion for delivering an “always-on” audio experience to connect drivers to the content they really want. HARMAN, the company that designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets, acquired Aha in September 2010. For more information, visit http://www.aharadio.com.