TuneIn, the radio service that allows users to stream news, sports, music and podcasts, will be built into Rivian's R1T electric trucks, the company confirmed on Tuesday. Rivian had previously mentioned integrating TuneIn, along with Spotify, into its EVs in a Twitter thread that delved into user experience and design.
TuneIn's partnership with Rivian follows a growing string of similar relationships with auto industry players, including Mercedes, Volvo, Polestar, Tesla, Jaguar Land Rover and Harman, and signals that no matter how cool and new and spaceship-like the vehicle, nothing really beats good, old fashioned live radio.
"Radio is one of these mediums that people still love. They're very happy to integrate it into their daily lives. But I think AM/FM transmission as a way of receiving it has seen its day," Rich Stern, CEO of TuneIn, told TechCrunch. "Our mission as a company is to reinvent radio for a connected world. It's the live radio content, the daily broadcast that people love, but it's made much more convenient by integrating it into their connected devices, their EVs, or their smartphones in ways that are much more contemporary and appropriate for how we consume audio today."
Earlier this year, TuneIn partnered with Amazon to bring its subscription service to all Alexa-enabled devices. Rivian, which is backed by Amazon, will also integrate Alexa into its vehicles. Given the close and overlapping nature of these partnerships, it makes it that much easier for drivers of Rivian vehicles to use Alexa voice commands to tune into TuneIn.
TuneIn, Spotify and other infotainment content will be available via touch on Rivian's dashboard, as well.