Pandora Internet Radio Adds In-Car Advertising

With more and more vehicles including Pandora integration in their dashboard infotainment systems, it’s no surprise that Pandora is taking this opportunity to launch a new advertising format for these in-car internet radio listeners. Multiple brands including BP, Ford, State Farm, and Taco Bell have already signed on to promote through in-car Pandora using targeted ads that will begin rolling out this month.

Pandora integration is currently available on 130 vehicle models, and Pandora points out that 9 of the 10 best-selling vehicles in 2013 offer Pandora integration. Overall, the company estimates that approximately 4 million of its 76.2 million active listeners use Pandora through an in-car integration system. The new deal gives advertisers the ability to only play certain ads, for instance for car insurance, to listeners who are currently driving.

These systems work by connecting with a smartphone inside the vehicle to provide Pandora controls like thumbs up, thumbs down, and station creation to the car’s media interface. Previously, the ads that normally play on Pandora devices did not play when connected with in-car Pandora integration. Though it may be slightly disappointing that the ad-free experience is gone, Pandora does say that the in-car 15- and 30-second ads will take up less air time than on any other Pandora platform, where ads play approximately once every 30 to 60 minutes of listening time. Listeners can also upgrade to Pandora One, a paid version of the internet radio software that does away with all advertisements.