Why in-car entertainment will be a key differentiator for OEMs in electric vehicles

ICE will be a key differentiator for OEMs in electric vehicles

With the advent of electric vehicles (EV) comes a curious new scenario for OEMs and auto manufacturers. By removing the smartly engineered and traditionally brand typical engine from cars, OEMs are also removing a key differentiator from their key go-to-market messages. No longer will prospective buyers be able to discuss factors such as power and fuel efficiency as they consider their new car purchase.

Battery life and efficiency will be factors in the decision, of course, but they won’t occupy the same level of consideration as the merits of one highly complex internal combustion engine over another. The future car user will be driven by green values rather than horsepower. 

Without the engine, OEMs will need to find new differentiators, and for this they will need to look at the software and connected services on offer inside the car in order to build and grow customer loyalty. A substantial benefit of this approach is that there’s a real opportunity to develop ongoing after-sales relationships with car owners that have not been available to OEMs before.

In a software-centric environment, data is currency. OEMs can only own the relationship with their customers if they own the user data and this is why so many OEMs are making moves into software: there is evidence of software acquisitions, investments and partnerships in a bid to collect and own user data.

But software is only part of the challenge. Functions such as navigation and environment settings will be important, too, but the real added value from services – and the real differentiator that OEMs desire – will come through content.

However, adding content to the car is no easy task, and securing licencing deals is notoriously difficult to achieve. The dominant content services like Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime would be popular additions to any in-car entertainment system, but they would not necessarily help OEMs achieve their goal, because the data records collected are in the ownership of these service providers and not of the OEMs. To achieve their goals of differentiation and data ownership, they must find a new way to own the all-important subscriber relationship.

OEMs need their own branded in-car entertainment services and they must contain content that is highly relevant to the user. Providing premium and localised video and audio services under the OEM’s brand is key. ACCESS Europe’s partnership with Radioline is a good example of how such an offering can be achieved.

And here we come to the crux of the matter. Navigating the tangled web of the content rights industry requires a way of working that is simply not in OEMs’ considerable expertise. The two industries work completely differently. So in order to thrive in an electric future, OEMs and Tier 1s must partner with companies that will help them get the right content into the car while allowing them to own the user data and, in turn, the relationship.

ACCESS Twine™ for Car (Twine4Car) is an OEM branded In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) system that is built upon a deep knowledge of software (ACCESS has software in over 1.5 billion devices), easy access to a user’s existing content apps through an OEM-branded interface, and ready loaded premium and location-specific content under the OEM’s brand. Twine4Car enables OEMs and their Tier-1 partners to utilize in-car entertainment as the new differentiator over other car brands, thus making the user associate the OEM’s brand with first class in-car content.

You can find out more about Twine4Car on the ACCESS Europe website.

About the author:

Neale Foster

Neale brings a wealth of broadcast, connected TV and consumer electronics industry experience to his role of spearheading ACCESS in Internet Connected Devices. ACCESS is one of the world’s leading software providers for connected mobile, Digital TV, set-top boxes and other electronic consumer devices. Neale ensures that ACCESS develops software solutions that enable broadcasters, operators and consumer electronics manufacturers to connect the broadcast world with the consumer electronic world to successfully launch new business models and consumer services. Follow him on Twitter / Linkedin