Look Ahead: News on the Dash

by: Adreana Young

Look Ahead: News on the Dash

As mobile journalism continues to make great strides in how news is delivered to audiences, another form of mobile journalism might need to be considered as well—connected cars.

In the automotive and tech worlds, connected cars are making waves. Connected cars offer drivers more in-car services including entertainment, technology and even the possibility of hands-free driving in the future.

According to a Business Insider report, connected cars are expected to bring in $152 billion by 2020. Companies like OnStar are already working with retailers and merchants to promote retail deals and shopping coupons to drivers, partnering with Priceline.com, Dunkin’ Donuts and digital coupon providers RetailMeNot and Entertainment Books.

While entertainment capabilities, such as Pandora Radio, Yelp and Facebook, are one of the most popular features for connected cars, it’s not projected to be the highest revenue source; it’s only expected to bring in $13 billion by 2020, according to Business Insider.

So, a question remains, is there a market for newspapers and connected cars?

Rich Martinek, senior manager for GM’s connected car insight, believes there is.

“At the end of the day what newspapers provide is professional, trusted content and that’s regardless of a connected car. We just make content as accessible…we just open the pipes,” he said.

Martinek said that GM vehicles with connected capabilities offer 4GLTE Wi-Fi hotspots for drivers and passengers, allowing online access. The connected car’s data capabilities would allow newspapers to stream breaking news updates, podcasts and video for passengers to watch through the connected car’s Wi-Fi.

According to statista.com, Los Angeles is the ninth worst city in the world for traffic gridlock. Drivers there spend 95 hours per year sitting in traffic. Time spent in traffic could translate to time spent reading a newspaper or listening to streaming content through the vehicle’s Wi-Fi data.

This new mobile platform also offers potential advertising partnerships for newspapers and media groups. According to Business Insider, 25 percent of global consumers said they would be willing to receive in-car advertising if they were to receive free basic services in exchange.

While the tech and car industries are getting more excited about the connected car, it hasn’t yet struck a chord with consumers. Business Insider reported 80 percent of mainstream consumers have never heard of connected cars or don’t fully understand what it is.

Still, many car manufactures are driving forward with the connected car. It’s expected that 90 percent of car manufacture’s newer models will have SIM cards for mobile use in them by 2020, according to Machina Research, and GM plans for 75 percent of their vehicles globally to be connected.

As the newspaper industry continues to search for viable revenue sources and innovative content platforms, both may just come in the form of our vehicles.

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