Allentown, Pennsylvania – Eager to not get left behind in the growing in-vehicle infotainment wars, Chevy recently announced a new venture that will bring exclusive streaming content to all its products. The new service is currently limited to a pilot program at one Chevy dealer in Allentown, Pennsylvania, but if all goes well, it could be included on all forthcoming models.
Tentatively named Chevy#, the streaming service is the automaker’s attempt to join the ranks of streaming giants that have gobbled up the media landscape in recent years. While such services are normally run by corporations that make, or at the very least own, valuable media properties ready for distribution, Chevy is undeterred by the unfamiliar territory. This marks a recent trend at the company, where one up-and-coming exec has Chevy poised to launch into a number of cutting-edge projects that fall well outside its traditional purview.
“Listen, we were wrong about ChevCoin. I’m pretty sure my assistant told you that ChevCoin was off-limits for this interview,” says Dwayne Roberts, Chevy VP of Special Projects and the sole creator of failed cryptocurrency ChevCoin. Chevy# is Robert’s latest venture, which he named after lengthy consultation with the legal department.
“It turns out most words, phrases, and symbols are already trademarked for other streaming services or apps at this point. It came down to either Chevy# (#Chevy was taken by Chevy Chase) or ghrelin, which is a gastrointestinal hormone produced by epithelial cells lining the fundus of the stomach. Needless to say, Chevy# it was,” Roberts says.
At this point, content on Chevy# is limited to old Chevy commercials, 2011’s “Transformers,” employee’s home movies, and a handful of silent films with expired copyrights, but the brand is currently looking to expand its repertoire. Just like every other streaming service out there, Chevy is desperate to source some cheap content, but this is easier said than done. With the cream of the crop long since snatched up by Disney, Amazon, and the like, fledgling streamers are left to scrape the bottom of the barrel.
Chevy had initially explored investing in the back catalog of some Tibetan sitcoms and a public television series called “The Wide World of Toboggans,” but the automaker opted to take the job in-house, or rather, in-vehicle. Buried in the fine print of every Chevy sold with the new Chevy# service is a clause giving the company the right to broadcast anything filmed by any one of the system’s 17 interior cameras.
Early testing has led to a treasure trove of content, with every laugh, cry, awkward drive-thru encounter, and road rage expletive saved for posterity and rebroadcast. The candid format doesn’t lend itself to narrative-heavy content, though producers have managed to weave together something resembling a story through some clever editing.
“Nick Said He’d Call” is 14 action-packed hours from the life of high school sophomore Namoi Hall. Filmed entirely within the confines of her parent’s 2022 Chevy Traverse, the show follows Hall as she commutes to her after-school job at the Dairy Freeze, continually checking her phone to see whether dreamy senior Nick Castalano has in fact followed up on his vague promise to call her sometime. While (spoiler alert) Nick never calls, Hall’s tearful drives and the group chat with her girlfriends––captured via the SUV’s dashboard infotainment system––capture a unique look at the digital anxiety inherent in our modern world. “Poignant,” says a review from New York Magazine, “a stunning portrait of an adolescence both plagued by and wholly dependent on the trapping of a new socio-digital zeitgeist.”
The service’s content is nominally divided into different genres, though the offerings often defy typical labels. For example, “Julia’s 80 MPH Makeup Tutorials” and “Top Speed Chef” can both be found under the ”Things Not To Do In A Chevy” tab. Though both are pretty self-explanatory, we recommend checking out a very special crossover episode from Season 3 where the Chef has a cameo appearance under Julia’s tires.
Sports coverage provides another challenge since most organized sports require a playing area larger than the typical vehicle cabin. Chevy# has had to get creative when it comes to such content, but two different approaches to the genre have already shown promise. “Mike Yells at The Radio” is a live broadcast of sports fan and one-time JV basketball equipment manager Mike Burnham, who reacts to the play-by-play coverage of his favorite teams. Filmed from multiple angles, viewers can choose between a traditional behind-the-wheel view, as well as an angle focused on the often-throbbing veins in Burnham’s temple and the always-popular “Spittle Cam.”
Aimed at younger audiences, “Car Games with Ian and Toby” follows twin brothers Ian and Toby Funderson, who compete in a variety of car-based games while on the way to visit Grandma Funderson. Ranging from Roadside Bingo and The License Plate Game to original entries like Flick Dad’s Ear Until He Yells At Us. Online sports books are already in on the action, with Toby and Ian’s games becoming natural fodder for gamblers who’ve tired of traditional fare.