Struggling Chrysler is trying to do just about anything to get your attention - and to stimulate you to buy their vehicles. The offer of $2.99 gas, while appealing on a very basic economic level, is apparently not moving cars and trucks off the lots.
But in all their new '09 vehicles, wireless Internet may be a motivator for some adventurous buyers. It's a platform called UConnect Web, and it opens up the Internet to consumers on the road. For radio people, it's the inevitable announcement that all content in cars is fair game. And it's coming to Chrysler showrooms in September.
According to Keefe Leung, a Chrysler engineer for this initiative, "There are no limitations in content."
That's a quote that should be posted in cubicles and offices throughout our industry. The excuses for not streaming or for offering a substandard stream are coming to a swift end. Radio is in a great position to brand and market its streams because as mobile WiFi becomes as ubiquitous as wireless laptops, there will be no limits on access. The best known brands in local markets - KLOS, KBCO, WRIF, WMMR, KQRS - will have a decided edge. But only if radio realizes what's at stake and steps up.