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RAIN 6/29: Autonet selling in-car Wi-Fi directly to consumers

Posted on: 06/29/2009

AUTO WI-FI PROVIDERCUTS OUT THE MIDDLEMAN

Autonet, a provider of Wi-Fi routers for use in cars, has “cut out the middleman” and is selling its services and equipment directly to car owners. The company’s Autonet Mobile Wi-Fi router, for use inside cars, connects to the Internet for a monthly fee. Other devices enabled with Wi-Fi can then connect to the router and access the Internet. Previously, Autonet relied on car makers and dealerships to sell to owners. That strategy was challenged by sinking new car sales, however. “Because people are holding onto their cars longer they are looking for upgrades,” said Sterling Pratz, a co-founder of Autonet. “I believe that is a large opportunity for us.”

Autonet’s in-car Wi-Fi service can now be purchased at Advance Auto Parts stores and through Amazon.com. The latter is selling the Autonet router for $390. Monthly Internet plans start at $30. For more, check out The New York Times’ coverage here.

AMERICANS SPEND 4 HRS ONLINE DAILY, SAYS MEDIA AUDIT

A new report from The Media Audit found that American adults spend an average of 4 hours online daily — an 81% increase since 2006. The Internet now represents nearly a third of a “media day” for adults as well, the report stated. For more, read Biz Report’s coverage here.

CBS STATIONS SEE STREAMING USAGE BOOM AS LISTENERS TUNE IN FOR JACKSON NEWS

Los Angeles CBS news station KFWB (980AM) experienced a 551% increase in streaming listenership for the 7pm hour this past Thursday, compared to the previous Thursday evening, as listeners tuned in to hear news about Michael Jackson’s death. Other CBS stations, like classic hits station K-Earth KRTH (101.1) in L.A., Washington’s urban WPGC-FM (95.5), and Urban WZMX (93.7) in Hartford also saw triple-digit streaming usage increases, Tom Taylor reported.

WUNDERRADIO iPHONE APP ADDS TWITTER FEATURES

RadioTime and Weather Underground have updated their WunderRadio iPhone application to include Twitter functionality. Users can now follow and respond to on-air personalities using Twitter within the application. Twitter is perhaps becoming a popular included feature of iPhone radio applications, as WEEI’s recently released iPhone application also included Twitter support (RAIN coverage here). You can find more coverage on Twitter and WunderRadio at the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye iPhone blog here.



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