Pandora teams with Scion, breaks 100M user mark

Faith Merino · July 12, 2011 · Short URL:

Pandora is expanding its auto-maker relationships and drawing millions of new listeners

Just weeks after making its big public debut on NYSE, Pandora announced Tuesday that it will be expanding its network of relationships in the automotive industry by teaming up with Scion, as well as further expanding its relationship with Ford.

Scion will be offering Pandora integration in his new 2012 xB model, which will be available in mid-July, as well as its 2012 tC RS 7.0, which will be available in August.  Where its partnership with Ford is concerned, Pandora will be integrated with ten Ford vehicles and two Lincoln vehicles.  In addition to Ford and Scion (which is a Toyota-owned line), Pandora has partnerships with BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and MINI.

The announcement was made at the Pandora Analyst Day in San Francisco, where EVP of business development Jessica Steel explained: “Nearly 50% of radio consumption happens in the car, so it's a natural venue for Pandora. We want to make the experience as easy in the car as it is at home, at the office, and on a mobile phone."

Other manufacturers that have announced plans to integrate Pandora include Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, Hyundai and Toyota. 

In addition to its new automotive partnerships, Pandora also announced Tuesday that it now has more than 100 million registered users, effectively doubling its subscriber base from 53 million in 2010.  At the time of its IPO just last month, Pandora had 94 million users.  Additionally, the company says it now has over 36 million monthly active users, and that its total market share for all radio listening in the U.S. now stands at 3.6%, up from 2.3% just six months ago.

Of course, Pandora isn’t limited to just cars and mobile phones (though mobile phones did give Pandora the launch-pad it needed to go from a listening service to a streaming rockstar). The service is also available in aftermarket automobile radios made by Alpine Electronics, JVC, Kenwood and Pioneer, and soon to include Sony.  And now you can stream Pandora directly from your refrigerator with the new Samsung LCD Refrigerator with Apps (which includes such apps as Google Calendar, Epicurious, AP News, Picasa Web Albums, and, of course, Pandora). 


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Pandora, the leading internet radio service, gives people music they love
anytime, anywhere, through a wide variety of connected devices: laptop and
desktop computers, smartphones, connected BluRay players, connected TVs,
etc. Personalized stations launch instantly with the input of a single “seed” –
a favorite artist, song or genre. The Music Genome Project®, a deeply
detailed, hand-built musical taxonomy, powers the personalization or
Pandora. Using this musicological “DNA” and constant listener feedback
Pandora crafts personalized stations from the more than 800,000 songs that
have been analyzed since the project began in January 2000.
More than 75 million people throughout the United States listen to
personalized radio stations for free on Pandora through their PCs, mobile
phones and devices such as the iPad, and connected in-house devices
ranging from TVs to set-top boxes to Blu-Ray players. Mobile technology has
been a significant factor in the growth and popularity of Pandora, starting
with the introduction of the Apple app store for the iPhone in the summer of
2008. Pandora instantly became one of the most top downloaded apps and
today, according to Nielsen, is one of the top five most popular apps across
all smartphone platforms.

Pandora is free, simple and, thanks to connectivity, available everywhere
consumers are – at the office, at home, in the car and all points in between.
In 2009 the Company announced that Pandora would be incorporated into
the dashboard in Ford cars via SYNC technology; GM has already followed in
announcing plans to integrate Pandora into its vehicles and Mercedes-Benz
introduced their Media Interface Plus device that works with the
free Pandora iPhone app to provide direct control of Pandora from in-dash
stereo controls. This was all great news for the millions of Pandora listeners
who had been plugging their smartphones into car dashboards to listen to
personalized stations while driving. More than 50 percent of radio listening
happens in the car, making it a crucial arena for Pandora.

Today tens of millions of people have a deeply personal connection with
Pandora based on the delight of personalized radio listening and discovery.
These highly engaged listeners reinforce the value Pandora provides to: 1)
musicians, who have found in Pandora a level playing field on which their
music has a greater chance of being played than ever before; 2) advertisers,
who benefit from the multi-platform reach of Pandora, as well as its best
practices in targeting consumers for specific campaigns; 3) the music
industry, which has found in Pandora a highly effective distribution channel;
and 4) automobile and consumer electronics device manufacturers, who have
noted that incorporating Pandora into their product makes it more valuable
to consumers.

Pandora continues to focus on its business in the United States. The radio
arena has never been hotter, thanks to technology that enables radio to be
personalized to the individual and more accessible than ever before. Right
now millions of people listen to Pandora in the United States and we hope
someday to bring Pandora to billions of people around the world.

• 2000 – Tim Westergren’s Music Genome Project begins.
• 2005 – Pandora launches on the web.
• 2008 – Pandora app becomes one of the most consistently downloaded
apps in the Apple store.
• 2009 – Ford announces Pandora will be incorporated into car
dashboard. Alpine and Pioneer begin selling aftermarket radios that
connect to consumers’ iPhones and puts the control and command of
Pandora into the car dashboard.
• 2010 – Pandora is present on more than 200 connected consumer
electronics devices ranging from smartphones to TVs to set-top boxes
to Blu-ray players and is able to stream visual, audio, and interactive
advertising to computers, smartphones, iPads, and in-home connected