Yesterday, I wrote about the dashboard enhancements that Ford will be rolling out in some new models later this year, and their potential impact on Sirius XM Radio
I was reminded by a few readers that Sirius XM plays a role in Ford's revolutionary Sync. Its Sirius Travel Link is a premium subscription service, offering owners in Sync-powered cars the ability to receive location-specific information for $5.99 a month.
"We are providing drivers with gas prices, movie times, and other really cool features, and we will continue to introduce new service offerings in the months ahead," Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin noted during the company's most recent quarterly conference call.
I grew concerned when checking Sirius.com's own page for the Travel Link service, because it only referred to the 2009 Ford family of cars. Thankfully, Satwaves.com's Brandon Matthews set me straight by sending me links from Ford's site. Sirius' Travel Link offering is available on several 2010 and 2011 model cars.
However, Ford is still sending some mixed signals.
Last month, Microsoft
Connectivity will be an opportunity for Ford to stand out -- and a challenge for Sirius XM to justify its premium. As more and more consumers plug USB drives full of music into their cars, or simply use Bluetooth to connect their cars with the smartphones in their pockets, it will be harder for Sirius XM to stand out. Paying for a service that provides movie times won't seem so hot when someone can actually surf for movie times and buy tickets without monthly subscriptions.
Thankfully, Sirius XM's bread-and-butter business remains its growing premium radio business. Connected cars will introduce a plethora of aural alternatives, but Sirius XM will be able to stand out with its premium content and satellite connectivity in areas where digital coverage runs spotty.
Sirius XM is here to stay, no matter how many tech-heavy hands Ford is shaking these days.
What would you like to see in the car of the future? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a subscriber to both Sirius and XM. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this article. He is also a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out the next great growth stock early in its defiance. The Fool has a disclosure policy.