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New Product Innovation Award, Internet Radio, North America, 2012
Frost & Sullivan’s Global Research Platform
Frost & Sullivan is in its 50th year in business with a global research organization of 1,800 analysts and consultants who monitor more than 300 industries and 250,000 companies. The company’s research philosophy originates with the CEO’s 360-Degree Perspective™, which serves as the foundation of its TEAM Research™ methodology. This unique approach enables us to determine how best-in-class companies worldwide manage growth, innovation and leadership. Based on the findings of this Best Practices research, Frost & Sullivan’s analyst research recognizes Livio Radio with the 2012 North American New Product Innovation Award in Internet Radio.
Significance of the New Product Innovation Award
Key Industry Challenges
The automotive industry in North America faces major challenges in Smartphone-vehicle integration due to ever-changing applications on the phones and difficulty for automotive manufacturers to keep up with and integrate them. At the same time, Smartphones have also become a major cause for concern due to these apps distracting drivers. The ability to support different types of third-party applications and languages in the global marketplace poses yet another key challenge for developers and manufacturers. Frost & Sullivan’s market research suggests that understanding users’ behavior and developing interactive systems requires more coordination and superior engineering expertise.
Livio Radio has developed a new, comprehensive product, Livio Connect, which will be the key to addressing this market gap between apps and hardware. The company is boosting its long-term sales and profits by developing a new technology that improves the performance of existing products and reduces distractions for drivers. It also meets the specifications of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and aftermarket installers. Frost & Sullivan firmly believes that forward thinking and innovation, as exhibited by Livio Radio, is paramount to growth in today’s highly dynamic Mobile Application market.
Key Benchmarking Cri teria for the New Product Innovation Award
For the New Product Innovation Award, the following criteria were used to benchmark Livio Radio’s performance against key competitors:
• Innovative Element of the Product
• Leverage of Leading-Edge Technologies
• Value Added Features/Benefits
• Increased Customer ROI
• Customer Acquisition/Penetration Potential
Decision Support Matrix and Measurement Criteria
To support its evaluation of best practices across multiple business performance categories, Frost & Sullivan employs a customized Decision Support Matrix (DSM). The DSM is an analytical tool that compares companies’ performance relative to each other with an integration of quantitative and qualitative metrics. The DSM features criteria unique to each Award category and ranks importance by assigning weights to each criterion. The relative weighting reflects current market conditions and illustrates the associated importance of each criterion according to Frost & Sullivan. Fundamentally, each DSM is distinct for each market and Award category. The DSM allows our research and consulting teams to objectively analyze each company’s performance on each criterion relative to its top competitors and assign performance ratings on that basis. The DSM follows a 10-point scale that allows for nuances in performance evaluation; ratings guidelines are shown in Chart 1.
Chart 1: Performance-Based Ratings for Decision Support Matr ix
This exercise encompasses all criteria, leading to a weighted average ranking of each company. Researchers can then easily identify the company with the highest ranking. As a final step, the research team confirms the veracity of the model by ensuring that small changes to the ratings for a specific criterion do not lead to a significant change in the overall relative rankings of the companies.
Best Practice Award Analysis for Livio Radio
The Decision Support Matrix, shown in Chart 3, illustrates the relative importance of each criterion for the New Product Innovation Award and the ratings for each company under evaluation. To remain unbiased while also protecting the interests of the other organizations reviewed, we have chosen to refer to the other key players as Competitor 1 and Competitor 2.
Criterion 1: Innovative Element of the Product
Livio Radio’s new product, Livio Connect API is a middleware framework protocol that permits hardware to remotely control and connect to smartphone applications. It is the first major technological improvement in the Internet Radio and Service category that uses a connection to allow smartphone infotainment applications to play in the car and be controlled by buttons directly in the head unit. The Livio Connect mobile application and hardware networks are connected with the API. Livio Connect’s mobile application network conforms to third-party hardware products and delivers infotainment applications for various car OEM stereos, headphones or speakers. The Livio Connect API is the only aftermarket brand set up for third-party applications and vehicles.
Criterion 2: Leverage of Leading-Edge Technologies
One of the major advantages of Livio Connect is that it enables information from apps such as song titles or album art from smartphone applications to be displayed and changed in external electronics like car stereos, remotely. Applications playing through the car stereo (i.e., in a Default Setting or Factory Setting Mode) can be customized by users through buttons such as radio presets, thumbs up, bookmarking, etc. To reduce the development,test, and validation steps required to add applications to the hardware, Livio has preintegrated CSR connectivity software solutions in its Livio Connect API. This product is available within the CSR Bluetooth SDK and the Synergy platforms. The Livio Connect API can also be incorporated on any other platform by designing and developing the same with the Livio’s software development kit, making it convenient for consumers.
Integrated Apps provided by many audio software/protocol companies rely on 3rd party companies to collect apps and distribute them to the car audio companies which later get integrated into the system hardware of the OEMs like Ford and GM. This is where Livio Connect differentiates itself since it does not depend upon 3rd party app suppliers and content creators.
Frost & Sullivan is convinced that this will have a significant impact on the Internet Radio and Service market. Livio Radio’s advanced technological platform developed through strategic alliances makes it the undisputed leader in the Internet Radio Application market. This gives Livio Radio an advantage over other competing brands in positioning Livio Connect as the premier product favored by OEMs and aftermarket installers.
Criterion 3: Value-Added Features/Benefits
One of the issues facing the car audio industry is the inter-operability problem, which comes into play when various apps having different link protocols are running in the same device. This interferes with the device’s smooth functioning and simultaneous running of the apps in a seamless manner. Livio Connect happens to solve this issue as Livio Connect is using one standard language to connect enabled apps with the approved device.
Targeted advertising will be accessible through Livio Connect partner, TargetSpot for mobile application network partners. This will make the streaming service available to the customers who will then be able to choose to include ads through TargetSpot. The ads will generally be inserted into the stream at a natural point. Additional visual components are available, but most of the ads will be audio only.
In addition, Livio Radio’s software development kit libraries enable users’ applications to communicate with Livio Connect API compatible devices. One API provides access to the growing number of mobile apps included in the Livio Mobile App Network. The Livio Car Internet Radio App is available in 22 languages and it supports subscription-free radio stations from around the world. Livio’s app launcher feature automatically finds new applications and lets users decide which app will start when their car starts.
Criterion 4: Increased Customer ROI
The advantage of being a Livio Connected app is that the apps consumers want to and are currently using will work in more vehicles and with more consumer electronics devices. By working with CSR (Livio Radio’s bluetooth technology partner), Livio Radio intends to grab
substantial market share in the In-Vehicle Software market through the realization of a valuable revenue stream as Livio Connect will receive licensing fees for its usage across apps. CSR provides a unique part number that allows Livio Connect to fit into CSR’s connectivity software solutions for production purposes.
To capitalize on current market opportunities, Livio Radio has developed a partnership with both AirKast and TargetSpot. The strategic alliance between Livio Radio and AirKast will give Livio Radio an upper hand to work with 60 of the world’s largest media brands associated with AirKast. TargetSpot’s partnership with Livio Radio will permit drivers to continue to listen to IP radio stations for free and the stations to target drivers with advertising. No other company has made a similar new product that matches the product innovation of Livio Connect.
Criterion 5: Customer Acquisition/Penetration Potential
Livio Connect enables a plethora of smartphone apps to be upgraded and new apps to be continuously downloaded and managed, based on popularity and the utility of the app. Livio Connect gives the liberty to infotainment app entities to retain their brand value as the system acts simply as an enabler of various participants involved in the value chain. Thus, the infotainment app entities are completely free to integrate Livio Connect in the audio hardware seamlessly without the fear of its own brand dilution.
Interactivity, connectivity, as well as intelligent customization features, put Livio Connect on a pedestal compared to the other products in the marketplace. Livio Radio’s customer acquisition strategy is well placed. Livio Radio’s customer-centric tools, such as emulators and validation tools, allow prospective customers to build and test the compatibility of the software (i.e., apps) quickly. Such superior technical support and engineering expertise will enable Livio Connect to become the smartphone app of choice for the tech-savvy consumer. Livio Connect is compatible with iOS and Android in WP7 and RIM Smartphones.
With an acute focus on innovating newer technologies and making Internet radio products easier to use, Livio Radio has emerged as the leader in the North American Internet Radio industry. Livio Connect stands out for its innovations in supporting different mobile phone operating systems and safely delivering a network of applications to consumers while they are driving. The Livio Radio team believes in making devices that offer more music with less effort. Based on Frost & Sullivan’s independent analysis of the North American Internet Radio market, Livio Radio is recognized with the 2012 New Product Innovation Award.
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Critical Importance of TEAM Research
Frost & Sullivan’s TEAM Research methodology represents the analytical rigor of our research process. It offers a 360-degree view of industry challenges, trends, and issues by integrating all seven of Frost & Sullivan’s research methodologies. Our experience has shown over the years that companies too often make important growth decisions based on a narrow understanding of their environment, leading to errors of both omission and commission. Frost & Sullivan contends that successful growth strategies are founded on a thorough understanding of market, technical, economic, financial, customer, best practices, and demographic analyses. In that vein, the letters T, E, A and M reflect our core technical, economic, applied (financial and best practices) and market analyses. The integration of these research disciplines into the TEAM Research methodology provides an evaluation platform for benchmarking industry players and for creating high-potential growth strategies for our clients.
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