Nextradio Launches Its First Visual Car In-Dash Platform

NextRadio Dial Report Tag StationTagStation’s NextRadio app has announced it has partnered with JVC/Kenwood to launch the first in car dashboard with an “interactive, visual AM/FM radio experience”.

The aftermarket tuners utilize Abalta Technologies’ WebLink software platform to connect a smartphone to a compatible tuner to download album art, station logos and other images to the head unit screen.

A FAQ page with a list of compatible tuners is available here.

TagStation, LLC, owner of the NextRadio® app, announced today that the hybrid radio app is now available on new JVC and Kenwood head units, putting an interactive, visual AM/FM radio experience into the car dashboard for the first time.

The new head units come enabled with Abalta Technologies’ WebLink software platform. When a driver connects a smartphone to a JVC or Kenwood WebLink-compatible head unit, the phone’s Internet connection allows NextRadio for WebLink to download album art, station logos and other images to the head unit screen. Local AM/FM radio broadcast audio comes over-the-air via the head unit’s tuner.

The NextRadio audio/visual experience is designed to keep consumers moving instead of searching. Drivers can easily browse stations with an “at-a-glance” view of what’s playing on the radio right now with NextRadio’s Live Guide™. Seeing familiar logos or album art makes finding content much quicker than reading, especially when consumers’ eyes need to be focused on the road. NextRadio automatically updates based on the vehicle’s location to show all AM, FM and HD stations broadcasting in the area.

“We are excited to be the first enhanced AM/FM radio experience in the connected car through our relationship with JVCKENWOOD,” said Paul Brenner, President at NextRadio. “The ability to provide an interactive, in-car experience is a huge victory for the radio industry and offers a great experience for radio listeners.”

“Our goal is always to deliver a more informative, entertaining experience. The NextRadio app does exactly that by enriching radio listening with visually-stunning, relevant content that drivers can find at a glance,” said Rick Noetzli – General Manager Product & R&D, Consumer Product Planning at JVCKENWOOD.

The WebLink for JVC and WebLink for Kenwood applications are available for download in the Android Marketplace and Apple App Store. Once the app is downloaded and Internet connection established, drivers can use NextRadio and other apps, including popular traffic and navigation app Waze.

“As we continue to build out all aspects of the connected car experience within our WebLink platform, we are prioritizing those apps that generate the greatest mobile experiences for everyday drivers. That includes Waze, Yelp, YouTube, Weather and NextRadio,” said Michael O’Shea, CEO and Founder of Abalta Technologies. “NextRadio represents the evolution of radio that consumers expect, and provides an in-dash visual experience like no other.”

Model numbers for the JVC and Kenwood head units that support WebLink can be found at NextRadioApp.com.

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Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

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