CES 2018: Virtual Assistants, Chatbots, Wearables, Auto and More


LAS VEGAS — It’s already been a notable CES 2018 for the nation’s No. 1 radio company.

On Monday at the biggest event on Earth for consumer electronics, iHeartMedia unveiled multiple new integrations for its iHeartRadio-branded digital music, podcasting and live streaming radio service.

What does this mean for consumers? They’ll now have the ability to access iHeartRadio through a bot for Facebook Messenger; Samsung’s new voice service, Bixby; Jibo, the first social robot for the home; Garmin’s new GPS running watch, the Forerunner 645 Music platform; and on Roku.

Additionally, through new automotive updates with General Motors and Ford, iHeartMedia has created what it calls an “easy-to-use iHeartRadio listening experience with safety in mind.”

Specifically, iHeartRadio is now instantly available to more than a million of 4G-LTE connected Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicle owners directly on their digital dashboard. In fact, iHeartRadio is a key music partner and the lone pre-set music app GM has rolled-out via an over-the-air software update to the Shop and Collection in-vehicle platform. The iHeartRadio app will continue to be pre-installed on new GM vehicles throughout 2018.

As for Ford, the Detroit automaker is the first OEM to fully integrate with iHeartRadio’s flagship mobile app, making all features available in car. This “major upgrade” to the Ford SYNC AppLink integration brings the on-demand music functionality of iHeartRadio All Access into Ford vehicles.

CES attendees can enjoy a live demo of the iHeartRadio integration in Ford vehicles at the FordDev Exhibit at the Tech West Location in the Sands Expo Hall on Tuesday (1/9) from 2-6pm Pacific, and again on Thursday (1/11) in the Las Vegas Convention Center Grand Lobby Ford exhibit, from 11am-6pm. A live DJ set by iHeartRadio will be a centerpiece of the Thursday demo.

“In 2017, we built on iHeartRadio’s strong foundation of content access and discovery,” said Darren Davis, President of iHeartRadio and iHeartMedia Networks Group. “Consumers are taking advantage of the ease and ubiquity of virtual assistants, smart speakers, set-top boxes and other connected devices, and in doing so, they’re proving that audio is an important part of their day-to-day life. As we look ahead in 2018, we will continue to innovate  blending the iHeartRadio experience seamlessly into the way listeners use the influx of these new smart devices  and as always, make iHeartRadio easily available on the products and platforms they use most.”

— Alan Arazi, in Las Vegas

CES attendees who would like to experience other iHeartRadio integrations can also visit the following booths: Google Home exhibit at the LVCC Central Plaza, Outside Booth #CP-21; Qualcomm Auto Exhibit at the LVCC North Hall, Booth #5616; and the Jaguar Land Rover mySPIN integration in the Bosch exhibit at the LVCC Central Hall, Booth #14028.