Ford forges partnership with Spotify, expands AppLink
BARCELONA, Spain--Ford revealed a new partnership with Spotify as part of its strategy to further expand its Sync AppLink program to include new developer partners.
In a press event here at Mobile World Congress, Paul Mascarenas, Ford chief technical officer and vice president of research and innovation, announced that Spotify Premium will be available via Sync AppLink. Sync allows users to access apps via voice control in select Ford vehicles. Users will be able to issue voice commands in their cars to play saved playlists or favorite particular songs. In addition, users can resume music started on another device.
Spotify's global head of hardware partnerships, Pascal de Mul, stated this was the first in-car partnership for the company. He added that the service will be available in Europe, the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.
"Having Spotify on board will undoubtedly boost Ford's in-car profile. The music giant's 20 million users will no doubt appreciate the announcements, although how many of its users will be able to afford a SUV (or even influence its purchase) will limit adoption," said Jeremy Green, telco strategy analyst, Ovum.
In other news, Mascarenas announced the company would begin offering apps from three of its partners--Kaliki, Glympse and Aha-- in Europe. Previously these apps were limited to North America. So far Ford counts over 2,500 registered developers as part of its Developer Program, up from 1,000 last month.
Mascarenas also unveiled a new model of the 2014 Ford Ecosport, which will come with AppLink capabilities.