That’s my prediction to Ford’s latest announcement that their giving Parents the ability to block their teens from 16 Sirius Radio stations with “MyKey”. Will it work? I don’t think so. Name a recent Ford vehicle out there with a radio that doesn’t have an Aux Audio input or a kid who doesn’t have some sort of smart phone. Mobile technology is keeping the user one step to the side of a lot of restrictions…
Ford’s MyKey system focuses on shows like Howard Stern, Playboy, Hip Hop Nation and Raw Dog Comedy. Unfortunately most of these also have podcasts or extra content available. So, even if the fight has moved from music to talk shows, a mobile consumer can still find it, plug it into their smartphone and play it in their car. The only way to protect teens from anything like this would be to install chips in them that give them 10 meter internet dead-zones.
Let’s face it; Teens are the super consumers – especially those teens who begin to dabble in the more expensive arena of electronics and clothing. They’re also incredibly adaptive and find alternative uses for products all the time! Not to mention, mobile technology and social media are built into their lives and content is constantly streaming to them. With any mobile app like GrooveShark, Pandora, Last.fm or RSS reader, they can find the content they want, one way or another.
But surely Ford knows this! So, what really is the MyKey system then? I believe it’s a ploy to appeal to concerned and naive parents and put Ford vehicles at top of mind. Perhaps also to create some buzz on the interwebs?? They got me to blog about it! Sounds like marketing… The other party involved, Sirius, doesn’t have much to worry about in sales. The MyKey system may even boost sales for Sirius because it allows for extra parental censorship, something previously keeping parents from purchasing Sirius. The true party that loses out are the individual shows by loss in live listener-ship.
The final question: Will the MyKey Ploy to sell cars work? Probably. Will it truly protect teens from “inappropriate” content? No.