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Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI ) is making sure that it doesn't lose ground in the streaming game.
The satellite radio provider and Ford (NYSE: F ) announced this morning that the million drivers on the road with Ford vehicles equipped with SYNC AppLink will be able to seamlessly access and navigate Sirius XM's on-demand and customized radio offerings.
Ford is the first carmaker to provide access to MySXM and SiriusXM On Demand functionality using a car's voice commands, steering wheel, or radio controls.
This is a pretty big deal.
Ford's SYNC AppLink provides smartphone owners the ability to pair up their wireless devices to a car's entertainment system via Bluetooth. They can then navigate through the apps without having to take their eyes off the road as they fidget with their smartphones or 3G-tethered tablets.
Letting folks who are already paying dear ransoms for their wireless plans the ability to use that connection to power in-car entertainment options is clearly the future, and Spotify and market leader Pandora (NYSE: P ) already have SYNC AppLink compatability.
Pandora is the undisputed champ in this space with more than 70 million active monthly users, but the marketplace is evolving quickly.
Sirius XM is largely consumed through its satellite receivers, but its Web-based offering is becoming more of a compelling add-on at just $3.50 more a month. Making the on-demand and personalized radio offerings easier to access should only increase the average revenue per user that Sirius XM is currently collecting.
This is also important because Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) not only introduced iTunes Radio earlier this month, but also revealed that five automakers will incorporate iOS technology into their dashboards as early as next year.
Ford is not one of the five car companies singled out by Apple, but Sirius XM is well served by promoting its streaming options between now and when Apple's arrival may shake up the streaming market that Pandora currently dominates.
Things are revving up.
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