Stingray and ACCESS make every journey a sing-a-long

Oberhausen, Germany, 22 November 2022ACCESS Europe GmbH announces that it will integrate Karaoke services, powered by Stingray, into the ACCESS Twine™ for Car (Twine4Car) in-vehicle infotainment platform. Stingray Karaoke supports both a touch screen and voice-controlled in-car experience that is designed to enable drivers and passengers to safely learn, practice, and perform their favourite songs and make every journey more fun!

Stingray Karaoke offers drivers a unique in-car experience by allowing them to tap into a catalogue of up to 100,000 licensed songs. Local and international content can be enjoyed in many languages, including English, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Portuguese and German. The platform has high-quality original concept background videos and images with easy-to-read, synchronized scrolling lyrics cues that appear directly on the screen. The innovative user interface is customisable to bring a more personalised experience to the customer.

Aono Masahiro, CEO, ACCESS Europe, said: “Karaoke is popular globally, and is something I really enjoy. By integrating Stingray Karaoke with our in-vehicle entertainment solution we are providing an experience similar to that provided by the recent growth in Asia of single-person karaoke rooms. OEMs can be confident that the ACCESS and Stingray solution will provide an in-car entertainment experience that drivers and passengers look forward to every journey, allowing them to sing along to the songs and lyrics they know and love in the comfort of their own vehicle.”

Tom Adams, Managing Director, Stingray Germany GmbH, said: “Through this partnership, ACCESS and Stingray have a shared vision of providing the best possible experience to our song-loving, connected car users. By integrating our APIs with the ACCESS in-vehicle entertainment solution, we move closer to our goal of connecting with Karaoke fans anywhere and anytime.”

The new version of Twine4Car includes content from several media partners and a wide range of apps, TV services, and VOD offerings for many markets. Features such as Sync Play will be beneficial when using Stingray Karaoke as it enables multiple passengers to relish a more group-centric experience.

Other features in Twine4Car include:

    • TWINE App Store:
      A dedicated in-car app store enables OEMs to make a wide selection of apps available to drivers and passengers within their own branded in-car platform.
    • Monetisation and data support:
      OEMs can forge new business models within the car through pre- and post-roll video advertising for Head Units and Rear Seat Entertainment (RSE).
    • Native Android app support:
      Twine4Car allows for the seamless integration of Android native applications, creating an immersive user experience via the OEM-branded IVI interface. This enables OEMs to completely control the services and create an ideal UX for native apps and embedded or API-based services.
    • Sync Play:
      Twine4Car enables two devices to synchronise the playback of the same video content, allowing the passengers to enjoy content on the screen in front of them simultaneously as other passengers.
    • Parental/Remote Control:
      Along with content-related control from any screen in the vehicle, Twine4Car can put parents in charge of the type and length of content consumed by their children.

    About Stingray
    Stingray (TSX: RAY.A; RAY.B) is a leading global music, media, and technology company with over 1,000 employees worldwide. Stingray is a premium provider of curated direct-to-consumer and B2B services, including audio television channels, over 100 radio stations, SVOD content, 4K UHD television channels, FAST channels, karaoke products, digital signage, in-car entertainment, in-store music, and music apps, which have been downloaded over 160 million times. Stingray reaches 400 million subscribers (or users) in 160 countries. For more information: www.stingray.com

    About ACCESS
    Since 1984, ACCESS CO., LTD. (Tokyo Stock Exchange Prime Market, Index, 4813) has been providing advanced IT solutions centred on mobile and network software technologies to telecom carriers, consumer electronics manufacturers, broadcasting and publishing companies, the automotive industry, and energy infrastructure providers around the world. The company develops mobile software solutions that have been installed on over 1.5 billion devices and network software solutions that have been used by more than 500 companies. Utilising its network virtualisation technology expertise and knowledge, the company is currently focusing on developing and commercializing the DX and IoT that combine embedded and cloud technology. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, the company maintains subsidiaries and affiliates in Asia, Europe, and the United States to support and expand its business globally. Learn more about ACCESS at www.access-company.com.

    © 2022 ACCESS CO., LTD. All rights reserved. ACCESS, the ACCESS logo, and ACCESS Twine are registered trademarks or trademarks of ACCESS CO., LTD. in the United States, Japan, and other countries. All other trademarks, logos, and trade names mentioned in the document are the property of their respective owners.

    BYD is already delivering, could the Tesla crown be slipping?

    Tesla has enjoyed a successful reign on the EV throne, appearing to be untouchable as Elon Musk’s empire innovated and conquered the automotive market. However, earlier this month, a much less-known yet just as ambitious company overtook Tesla to take pole-position as the king of the battery-powered car.

    BYD, short for ‘Build Your Dreams’, is now the world’s fastest selling EV manufacturer, recording 641,000 sales in six months, beating Tesla’s 564,000. Based in China, BYD, which has U.S. billionaire Warren Buffet as a shareholder, is dominating the Chinese market through launching EVs on time and at scale.

    How has it done this? BYD has the benefit of having an already-integrated supply chain due to its investment in manufacturing critical parts – from batteries to semiconductors. By doing this, BYD has provided itself with the key components to build its vehicles and avoided the well documented pains of many other automakers.

    So far Tesla and BYD haven’t really been in competition – BYD and Tesla until very recently made quite different vehicles; and in Tesla’s US backyard, BYD doesn’t sell vehicles due to the tariffs on car imports. But internationally, they are about to compete, with the BYD Seal having the Tesla Model 3 firmly in its sights. In China, BYD reported that it had over 22,000 orders in just a few hours after the Seal launch. The car is an attractive well priced package (equivalent to $32,000) in China. BYD has reported a fast ramp-up of production, and it appears likely to be attractive to consumers outside China too.

    So BYD are now making increasingly luxurious cars to compete with Tesla and the traditional OEMs, such as VW, Ford, GM, etc., as they also become EV vendors – but how are BYD going beyond the Tesla playbook?

    One really key difference is that although all its vehicles are manufactured in China, BYD has been able to avoid the worst of the China lockdown supply-chain issues by making its own chips through its BYD Semiconductor subsidiary, for which there are plans to float on the Shenzhen ChiNext market.

    When it comes to batteries, again BYD is ahead of Tesla through making its own batteries. Yes, Tesla has a joint venture with Panasonic to produce batteries through The Sparks, Nevada, Gigafactory, but for all its China and many of its US produced cars, Tesla buys off-the-shelf batteries from third-party companies such as CATL.

    BYD makes BYD Blade batteries, a specialised Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery, which it sells to other automotive OEMs and there have been rumours that they are about to provide batteries to Tesla too. The automotive OEMs said to be choosing BYD Blade’s for cars made for or aimed at the Chinese market include Ford, GM and Toyota.

    To ensure that BYD has a continued source of Lithium for its batteries it is involved in lithium mining projects, with more rumours that it is to buy six lithium mines in Africa. BYD is also thought to be planning new higher-end vehicles, moving its average sale price higher. It appears that BYD is finding it easier to launch new vehicles than Tesla, which has delayed new models multiple times and may go through 2021 – 2023 without shipping any new models.

    So, for BYD, going beyond the Tesla playbook means that is the company is already doing things that Elon Musk has only talked about: it makes its own chips, sells a model priced at $25,000, is rumoured to be buying Lithium mines so that it can make enough batteries to meet its own demand, and sells batteries to third parties. And critically, BYD appears to have cracked designing and launching new models quickly, something Tesla has struggled with recently: and BYD does all of this profitably.

    The automotive industry and the public is used to seeing Tesla as the tech leader in the automotive space. As BYD continues to be able to do things that Elon Musk has only talked about but so far failed to deliver, we can expect the competition between the two companies to push the EV landscape to new heights.

    BYD is already delivering what Tesla and Elon Musk eulogise, could the crown be slipping?

    Tesla has enjoyed a successful reign on the EV throne, appearing to be untouchable as Elon Musk’s empire conquered the automotive market. However, earlier this month, a much less-known yet just as ambitious company overtook Tesla to take pole-position as the king of the battery-powered car.

    BYD, short for ‘Build Your Dreams’, is now the world’s largest EV manufacturer, recording 641,000 sales in six months, beating Tesla’s 564,000. Based in China, BYD, which has U.S. billionaire Warren Buffet as a shareholder, is dominating the Chinese market through launching EVs on time and at scale.

    How has it done this? BYD has the benefit of having an already-integrated supply chain due to its investment in manufacturing critical parts – from batteries to semiconductors. By doing this, BYD has provided itself with the key components to build its vehicles and avoided the well documented pains of many other automakers.

    So far Tesla and BYD haven’t really been in competition – BYD and Tesla until very recently made quite different vehicles; and in Tesla’s US backyard, BYD doesn’t sell vehicles due to the tariffs on car imports. But internationally, they are about to compete, with the BYD Seal having the Tesla Model 3 firmly in its sights. In China, BYD reported that it had over 22,000 orders in just a few hours after the Seal launch. The car is an attractive well priced package (equivalent to $32,000) in China. BYD has reported a fast ramp-up of production, and it appears likely to be attractive to consumers outside China too.

    So BYD are now making increasingly luxurious cars to compete with Tesla and other EV vendors such as VW, Ford, GM, etc. – but how are they going beyond the Tesla playbook?

    One really key difference is that although all its vehicles are manufactured in China, BYD has been able to avoid the worst of the China lockdown supply-chain issues by making its own chips through its BYD Semiconductor subsidiary, for which there are plans to float on the Shenzhen ChiNext market.

    When it comes to batteries, again BYD is ahead of Tesla through making its own batteries. Yes, Tesla has a joint venture with Panasonic to produce batteries through The Sparks, Nevada, Gigafactory, but for all its China and many of its US produced cars, Tesla buys off-the-shelf batteries from third-party companies such as CATL.

    BYD makes BYD Blade batteries, a specialised Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery, which it sells to other automotive OEMs and there have been rumours that they are about to provide batteries to Tesla too. The automotive OEMS said to be choosing BYD Blade’s for cars made for or aimed at the Chinese market include Ford, GM and Toyota.

    To ensure that BYD has a continued source of Lithium for its batteries it is involved in lithium mining projects, with rumours that it is to buy six lithium mines in Africa. BYD is also thought to be planning new higher-end vehicles, moving its average sale price higher. It appears that BYD is finding it easier to launch new vehicles than Tesla, which has delayed new models multiple times and may go through 2021 – 2023 without shipping any new models.

    So, for BYD, going beyond the Tesla playbook means that is the company is already doing things that Elon Musk has only talked about: it makes its own chips, sells a model priced at $25,000, is rumoured to be buying Lithium mines so that it can make enough batteries to meet its own demand, and sells batteries to third parties. And critically BYD appears to have cracked designing and launching new models quickly, something Tesla has struggled with recently: and BYD does all of this profitably.

    The automotive industry and the public is used to seeing Tesla as the tech leader in the automotive space. But as BYD continues to be able to do things that Elon Musk has only talked about but failed to deliver, we can expect the competition between the two companies to push the EV landscape to new heights.

    Tesla has enjoyed a successful reign on the EV throne, appearing to be untouchable as Elon Musk’s empire conquered the automotive market. However, earlier this month, a much less-known yet just as ambitious company overtook Tesla to take pole-position as the king of the battery-powered car.

    BYD, short for ‘Build Your Dreams’, is now the world’s largest EV manufacturer, recording 641,000 sales in six months, beating Tesla’s 564,000. Based in China, BYD, which has U.S. billionaire Warren Buffet as a shareholder, is dominating the Chinese market through launching EVs on time and at scale.

    How has it done this? BYD has the benefit of having an already-integrated supply chain due to its investment in manufacturing critical parts – from batteries to semiconductors. By doing this, BYD has provided itself with the key components to build its vehicles and avoided the well documented pains of many other automakers.

    So far Tesla and BYD haven’t really been in competition – BYD and Tesla until very recently made quite different vehicles; and in Tesla’s US backyard, BYD doesn’t sell vehicles due to the tariffs on car imports. But internationally, they are about to compete, with the BYD Seal having the Tesla Model 3 firmly in its sights. In China, BYD reported that it had over 22,000 orders in just a few hours after the Seal launch. The car is an attractive well priced package (equivalent to $32,000) in China. BYD has reported a fast ramp-up of production, and it appears likely to be attractive to consumers outside China too.

    So BYD are now making increasingly luxurious cars to compete with Tesla and other EV vendors such as VW, Ford, GM, etc. – but how are they going beyond the Tesla playbook?

    One really key difference is that although all its vehicles are manufactured in China, BYD has been able to avoid the worst of the China lockdown supply-chain issues by making its own chips through its BYD Semiconductor subsidiary, for which there are plans to float on the Shenzhen ChiNext market.

    When it comes to batteries, again BYD is ahead of Tesla through making its own batteries. Yes, Tesla has a joint venture with Panasonic to produce batteries through The Sparks, Nevada, Gigafactory, but for all its China and many of its US produced cars, Tesla buys off-the-shelf batteries from third-party companies such as CATL.

    BYD makes BYD Blade batteries, a specialised Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery, which it sells to other automotive OEMs and there have been rumours that they are about to provide batteries to Tesla too. The automotive OEMS said to be choosing BYD Blade’s for cars made for or aimed at the Chinese market include Ford, GM and Toyota.

    To ensure that BYD has a continued source of Lithium for its batteries it is involved in lithium mining projects, with rumours that it is to buy six lithium mines in Africa. BYD is also thought to be planning new higher-end vehicles, moving its average sale price higher. It appears that BYD is finding it easier to launch new vehicles than Tesla, which has delayed new models multiple times and may go through 2021 – 2023 without shipping any new models.

    So, for BYD, going beyond the Tesla playbook means that is the company is already doing things that Elon Musk has only talked about: it makes its own chips, sells a model priced at $25,000, is rumoured to be buying Lithium mines so that it can make enough batteries to meet its own demand, and sells batteries to third parties. And critically BYD appears to have cracked designing and launching new models quickly, something Tesla has struggled with recently: and BYD does all of this profitably.

    The automotive industry and the public is used to seeing Tesla as the tech leader in the automotive space. But as BYD continues to be able to do things that Elon Musk has only talked about but failed to deliver, we can expect the competition between the two companies to push the EV landscape to new heights.

    How ACCESS and TomTom IndiGO are driving brand loyalty in today’s market

    The in-car entertainment landscape is booming, and the demand for sophisticated features and systems is increasing. This technology evolution is being driven by consumers looking to get advanced entertainment as part of their everyday driving experience. However, the market is fragmented and would require a lot of investment to develop their own solutions, let alone obtaining access to content and media. Fortunately help is at hand: OEMs can partner with technology providers such as Tom Tom and ACCESS to integrate advanced IT solutions centred around mobile and network software technologies. As a result, companies will not only be able to meet the market’s demands but also reap the rewards of staying ahead of the game.

    ACCESS is putting this practice into action, through its partnership with TomTom’s IndiGO platform, which enables OEMs to provide the services they wish to deploy today while offering the flexibility to match fluctuating demand. OEMs can therefore provide a dynamic entertainment experience to customers, elevating their after-sales experience and generating economic growth.

    ACCESS is one of these companies working to bridge the gap between the media industry and the automotive market through its Twine4Car platform. Twine4Car is the company’s industry-leading In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) solution that empowers OEMs to offer customers a range of infotainment applications and services that are consistent with their brand identity. Video-on-demand, live TV, music, radio, karaoke, games, and news – Twine4Car accommodates a wide variety of content offerings to provide the customer with the ultimate user experience.

    Twine4Car efficiently delivers and presents the apps through a combination of cloud-based and in-car embedded technologies, entertaining both front and rear passengers for short and long trips – a perfect answer to one of the market’s most pressing issues.

    With TomTom IndiGO, carmakers can provide a futureproof infotainment system built on a platform that makes app development fun, easily testable and highly efficient.

    Through ACCESS, TomTom is able to take advantage of Twine4Car’s capabilities which aggregates content from partners worldwide to support a personalised brand experience across all devices, giving OEMs the tools to offer best-in-class infotainment solutions and thrive in today’s industry.

    If you would like to know more about how ACCESS and TomTom are driving the in-vehicle entertainment revolution,  please get in touch.

    How ACCESS got into the driving seat of in-Car Entertainment from i-mode to Jaguar Land Rover and beyond

    I’m often asked how ACCESS got into the car business. As I retold the story again last week, I realized that it could make a pretty interesting blog. So here goes…

    1979: ACCESS is born Just like Apple, Microsoft, HP, and other 70’s start-ups, ACCESS had a humble beginning.

    It was founded in 1979 by a couple of students working on implementing the then-new TCP-IP specification. ACCESS was built upon the belief that connecting devices – and people – would change the world and was incorporated in Tokyo in 1984. It came to prominence through its browser software, a core component of the hugely successful and pioneering mobile internet, i-mode data service of NTT DoCoMo in Japan (for anyone interested, take a look at this great post by Jay Hoffman: “Before There Were Smartphones, There Was I-Mode”).

    ACCESS then moved on to providing software for a wide variety of software for connected and mobile devices, such as mobile phones, PDAs, video game consoles, and set-top boxes. Primarily due to the deployment of its NetFront™ browser family, ACCESS has now surpassed software shipments for over 1.5 billion devices

    2006: First moves into automotive as cars started to incorporate built-in displays, the industry realized that HTML gave them a flexible approach to presenting information to drivers, from in-car manuals to points of interest as an extension to built-in navigation solutions. As early as 2006, ACCESS began providing its NetFront browser solutions for the automotive industry in Japan, other APAC countries, EMEA, and the Americas, primarily through Tier-1 partners.

    Due to previous experiences, even then, ACCESS could foresee that the car would evolve to be a fully connected environment using the Internet technologies on which the company was founded.

    2010: Connected TV and HbbTV Initially, ACCESS provided browser engines for connected TV (CTV) services, but quickly broadened its range of media-centric software through solutions for HbbTV, the newly launched industry standard aimed at harmonizing the broadcast and broadband delivery of entertainment to the end consumer through CTVs (smart TVs) and set-top boxes. ACCESS also embraced media sharing solutions based upon the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) Technology Component™ solution aimed at enabling Pay-TV operators and device manufacturers to quickly and efficiently implement multi-room and Multiscreen services.

    2016: ACCESS Browser Solution Chosen to Power Next-Generation In-Vehicle Connected Infotainment Solutions for Jaguar Land Rover.

    ACCESS’ NetFront™ Browser NX Automotive Profile software solution was chosen as the browser for the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) next-generation connected infotainment system InControl Touch Pro, which has been deployed across the latest range of JLR vehicles available on the market.

    Discussing the reasons for JLR’s selection of the ACCESS solution, Kiyo Oishi, Chief Executive Officer of ACCESS CO., LTD. said: “The choice of the ACCESS browser by Jaguar Land Rover is testament to the base performance and raw speed of our browser technology and the R&D effort we’ve put into supporting the automotive industry’s continued drive to produce in-vehicle entertainment experiences of the very highest quality.”. We continue to work with JLR today.

    2017: ACCESS scoops GENIVI Best of Show award for In-vehicle infotainment product portfolio.

    In May 2017, ACCESS’ In-vehicle infotainment (IVI) product portfolio received a Best of Show award at the GENIVI All Member Meeting & Open Community Days in Birmingham (May 9-11, 2017). This industry accolade provided confirmation that car OEMs were looking to enhance their infotainment solutions and that ACCESS were developing the features and functionality the OEMs desired.

    2018: Enter ACCESS Twine™ for Car In order to meet the future needs of automotive OEMs and Tier-1s looking to provide connected information and entertainment services across multiple screens in a vehicle a standalone browser solution is not sufficient. For an integrated cockpit experience, the screens would need to be able to show different apps and share media, and the streamed content would need to be protected by https://eu.access-company.com/automotive.htmlDRM – something ACCESS had transferrable experience for from the broadcast industry.

    In early 2018, ASE launched ACCESS Twine™ for Car (Twine4Car), a state-of-the-art in- vehicle infotainment (IVI) solution built upon our combined broadcast and automotive knowledge. There was just one piece of the in-car entertainment jigsaw missing: content.

    2019: Twine4Car App Store ACCESS understands that a technology solution alone is not enough for OEMs to launch their new generation connected service; to be successful, the platform needs access to content. ACCESS knew how the media industry worked, as it already collaborated with many of the world’s largest content owners – but it didn’t have in place a content acquisition strategy. This final piece of the in-car entertainment jigsaw was secured through the acquisition in April 2019 of NetRange, a pioneer of the Smart TV ecosystem, enabling interactive services and connected TV.

    The NetRange Smart TV App Store provides content to consumers in over 100 countries. A key enabler of this is the commercial agreements that NetRange has with content companies, such as the massively popular JioSaavn music service, which is available in over 100 countries worldwide, and Radioline, the global radio provider, which has access to over 100,000 audio feeds. As part of the ACCESS family, NetRange gives ACCESS the relationships to provide the same coverage and reach to the automotive market, through an end-to-end technology and content solution for in-car entertainment. This resulted in the July 2020 launch of a car-centric App Store, which is part of the ACCESS Twine™ for Car (Twine4Car) in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) solution.
    2019 to today: Through the toughest times, ACCESS has continued its relationships with car manufacturers and Tier-1s working towards powering the next generation IVI solutions in many of the world’s most exciting brands. We recently announced our integration with Harman Ignite and look out for more exciting announcements in the coming months.

    The future of in-car entertainment is incredibly exciting. At ACCESS we are looking forward to building on our experience of providing technology solutions for over 35 million vehicles to date; as our Twine4Car media platform, App Store, car-specific HTML5 browser, media sharing and streaming solutions enable automotive OEMs and Tier-1s make the most of their in-car entertainment opportunities in their fantastic media enabled, multi-screen vehicles in the pipeline!

    If you would like to know about how the unique expertise of ACCESS can benefit the automotive industry, please visit out website here.

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