Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Report: Pandora Radio App Cruises Into Cars

Before the iPhone, Pandora was a struggling Internet radio service fighting to stay alive.

Thanks to the iPhone, writes Jefferson Graham at, Pandora's audience doubled in a year, and now, with 80 million listeners, it's by far the largest and fastest-growing Internet music service.
Founder Tim Westergren's next horizon: the car.

By tapping into the Internet from the iPhone (and, in some cases, Android and BlackBerry phones) Pandora now can be played in many cars with special dashboard controls, including Ford Fiesta, new Minis and most new Mercedes-Benzes. Coming this year: Pandora in the new Toyota Prius V, Hyundai Veloster, new BMWs and Buick Verano.

In some cases, the phone connects directly through a jack to the car audio system, in others via Bluetooth. Prices for the feature range from $299 to $2,000.

To bring Pandora to older vehicles, auto stereo manufacturers Alpine, Pioneer, JVC and Kenwood are offering car radios that can connect to the smartphone for Pandora integration at prices ranging from $199 to $1,200.

Westergren's goal: Pandora in every vehicle.

"We think that 50% of music listening is done in the car," he says. "That's a huge market that we haven't been able to be part of."

Read more here.

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