Would You Add Pandora to Your Car Radio?


Excuse me while I rip out my CD player.   Acura, Kia and the car stereo company Audiovox have partnered with Pandora to make listening to the Internet radio service while driving as automatic as listening to the radio.  Francisca Fanucchi, Pandora’s corporate communications and public relations manager was kind enough to share her thoughts via email on what these developments mean for the future of Internet radio.

Pandora’s presence in the auto industry is growing – the company now has partnerships with 16 automotive brands and seven manufacturers of car parts that make it easier to operate the Internet radio from the center console of a car. According to Fanucchi, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Pandora will replace traditional radio stations.

“Throughout the history of modern media, no new medium has ever killed the media that preceded it,” Fanucchi told Social Times. “When TV came along, people at the time thought it might kill radio.  Instead, each medium ends up focusing on what it does uniquely well.  Broadcast radio is well suited to one-to-many programming while the Internet is uniquely good at personalization. There’s plenty of room for both industries.”

The same goes for social music services.  Although Pandora has 125 million registered users, there has been some speculation that jukebox-style music sites like Spotify might be catching up.  There was even an article in Fast Company about the possibility of a Pandora app on Spotify.  When asked if anything like that was actually in the works, Fanucci replied, “We’re firmly focused on our unique product of personalized radio, and getting it everywhere our consumers want to hear it.”

Pandora is currently available on 450 consumer electronic devices, from smart phones and tablets to clock radios, televisions and even refrigerators, and recently partnered with Dish Network, a satellite TV provider.  A new report by Triton Digital has shown that the company holds 68% of the market share, thanks in part to the portability of its service.

Pandora’s presence at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, along with Facebook’s debut inside a Mercedez Benz,  further demonstrates how far that the Internet has moved from the desktop.  Just look at all these speakers and screens: