Yelp is now established and mainstream enough to be included in BMW’s Online/in-car content. Yelp reviews and related content will shortly be available to BMW owners “who subscribe to the optional BMW Assist Convenience Plan and have a navigation-equipped vehicle capable of receiving the BMW Online service.”
This means select BMW vehicles (see below for list) and is available in the US only for now. However Yelp’s international coverage makes it probable that the partnership will roll out more broadly if it proves successful in the US.
Yelp offered some screens of the BMW in-car search on its blog:
Select models that can access the Yelp content include the following:
- 2009 and later Z4, 1, 3 and 7 Series
- 2010 and later 5 and 6 Series
- 2010 and later X5 and X6
- 2011 and later X3
Google, Bing and Mapquest have mapping and local search deals with various car makers. Ford has also invested in making its Sync in-dash navigation and content system compatible with numerous smartphones. This is the direction that we’ll see more and more carmakers go: integration of smartphone apps into in-dash content systems.
The Yelp-BMW announcement is a high-profile deal that may boost confidence in its forthcoming IPO among some investors. The company is seeking to raise as much as $100 million through a public offering that will likely happen in Q1 of next year.
Yelp previously reported that 40 percent of its query volume is now coming from mobile devices. Add BMW to the list.
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