Pandora's ad business just got wheels.
The Internet radio giant has launched its first in-car advertising product, just in time for the launch of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The company has signed its first in-car radio ad deals with BP, Ford, State Farm and Taco Bell, said officials.
After seeing its product take off among mobile and desktop users, Pandora has been aggressively courting the auto industry over the past few years—knowing just how crucial cars are to Americans' radio habits. According to the company's latest numbers, Pandora is available in nine of the top 10 best-selling cars, and over 4 million users have activated the in-car version, which up until now did not carry ads.
That growing audience should prove to be attractive to brands—given the traditional power audio ads have had in reaching drivers, who account for close to half of radio listening. Plus, unlike classic radio station ad options, Pandora knows lots about its users. "We are now seizing the opportunity to connect advertisers with a more targeted audience than traditional radio can provide," said Pandora's chief marketing officer Simon Fleming-Wood.
Overall, Pandora says it reached over 76 million active listeners in December, streaming 1.58 billion hours of content.