Harman's Aha Teams With Slacker For Car Audio

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Palo Alto, Calif. - Aha, owned by Harman International, announced it has teamed with Slacker to bring Slacker's Personal Radio and Premium on-demand music services into cars.

This deal marks Aha's first official music partnership, Harman said, and provides Aha listeners with millions of songs on-demand as well as more than 150 programmed genre stations. Slacker also has personalized music, comedy, sports and news stations, including ABC and ESPN news. This Aha product will be available in cars (OEM), aftermarket A/V systems and on smartphones.

Aha provides access to web content from the radio, including news, traffic, local business ratings, Facebook, Twitter feeds and podcast. It's available as a free app for smartphones, and Aha said it is currently working with automotive and consumer electronics manufacturers on multiple integrations that will launch throughout 2012.

Chia-Lin Simmons, Aha's marketing and content VP, told TWICE that the Slacker service will be available on Aha's platform and that "soon, there will be other music partners." She noted that OEM and aftermarket manufacturers will be able to choose the service that's available to customers.  "Once Aha is made available, we offer automotive partners, aftermarketing OEM, etc., the opportunity to receive fresh content anytime. The Aha platform is constantly adding new content and they are made available as soon as they are up on the system."

"Harman had the vision of offering a program that product crosses multiple automotive brands," Simmons said.

"Come next year, Aha will be rolling out automatic integrations with several auto manufacturers" as soon as the first quarter of next year, she said. "By next year you'll see hundreds of thousands Aha-enabled systems across multiple auto manufacturers that will be selling head units that have Aha functionality built into the audio navigation system. When you sync up your smartphone to these auto navigation systems, it will show an AM tab, an FM tab, a satellite tab and an Aha tab," she explained. 

Simmons said the Aha service will continue to be made available through aftermarket and OEM products.

Simmons noted that Aha's current iPhone app doesn't include the Slacker service. It will be refreshed later this year, along with a new Android app, that will include Slacker functionalities.


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