[Radio Ink]

The radio industry has pretty much come to the realization that 100% ownership of the automobile dashboard is ancient history. The challenge has turned to how radio competes with everything coming available to the consumer on that all-important real estate. This was a very hot topic at The Radio Show in Nashville last month.

And just when you thought you were getting a grip on who the competition was for the dash, OnStar decides to get into the battle. And they’ve created a product that appears to be a direct attack on your advertisers, using one of radio’s biggest automobile selling points…”when the consumer is closest to his or her purchase.” The new technology is called OnStar Business and General Motors loves it. Here’s how it works.

OnStar Business is an in-vehicle advertising platform. According to MediaPost, GM has created an infotainment center, a new marketing channel, which will be displayed on a screen in the car’s dashboard. That’s where OnStar Business will be embedded. And because GM cars have a GPS system, General Motors can offer geotargeted ads to drivers. Drivers can also decide the type of messages they’d like to receive.

Mediapost reports that since GM knows the identity of the person who purchased the vehicle, businesses can even personalize content based on the owner’s demographic and geographic information. “For example, a Camaro sports car owner may receive different marketing than an Equinox SUV owner.”

Mediapost writer Jess Nelson reported that as he was sitting in a 2016 Camaro at Salesforce’s annual convention in San Francisco, he received advertisements for the nearby Starbucks and Gap. Clicking on the Gap promotion delivered driving directions on the screen and a coupon to his e-mail. GM has already partnered with Priceline, Groupon, ExxonMobil, and Glympse using the new OnStar technology.

OnStar Business will be embedded into over two million GM cars by the end of 2017.