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CES: Pandora streams ads into cars

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Now for the bad news from CES: streaming Internet radio is about to flood motorists with targeted advertising.

Internet radio service Pandora announced at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week that it will begin rolling out in-car advertising solutions this month.

Major brands like BP, Ford Motor Company, State Farm and Taco Bell are on board to take advantage of the first-to-market opportunity. Pandora, which this week reported more than 76,2-million active monthly listeners and more than 1,58-billion listening hours across all platforms in December 2013, is currently available on nine out of the 10 best-selling passenger vehicles in the USA.

More than 4 million users have activated Pandora through a native integration across the 23 major auto brands and 8 aftermarket manufacturers on the company’s partner roster.

‚”Nearly half of all radio listening takes place in the car,‚” says Pandora Chief Marketing Officer Simon Fleming-Wood. ‚”We knew early on that, to redefine radio, we would need to deliver Pandora seamlessly through in-dash entertainment systems. With an 8,6% share of total U.S. radio listening and unmatched growth and adoption of Pandora in the car, we are now seizing the opportunity to connect advertisers with a more targeted audience than traditional radio can provide.‚”

Incorporating Pandora into the native environment of the car has remained a key focus for the company since announcing its first automotive brand partnership with Ford in 2010. Through the connectivity of a smartphone, Pandora native automotive integrations shift the popular controls of the service, like station creation and thumbs feedback, from mobile devices into in-dash entertainment systems. The promise is that listening to personalised radio in the car is as easy as AM/FM radio.

Advertisers will now be offered the opportunity to reach car-bound audiences through 15- and 30-second audio spots that will run across the 130 vehicle models that include a native Pandora integration. More than 270 aftermarket automotive devices also feature the personalized radio service.

The company will introduce listeners to the in-car advertising experience by delivering fewer audio ads than on any other Pandora platform. Pandora listeners who subscribe to a Pandora One premium account will continue to enjoy an ad-free listening experience.

‚”With the vehicle as the traditional home of radio, we were the first to bring the personalised Pandora experience to customers via SYNC AppLink,‚” said Ford Motor Company Digital Marketing Manager Erica Bigley. ‚”This next partnership phase lets us effectively reach highly engaged customers where they are most likely to enjoy radio and is incredibly exciting for our business.‚”

State Farm Advertising Director Ed Gold added: ‚”People are passionate about their music and their cars. With so much music being consumed in the car, Pandora automotive platforms allow listeners to customise that experience and we are excited to be able to connect with consumers in that environment.‚”

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