Ford and Others Sign on for Pandora’s Car-Only Ad Program

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Pandora’s popular radio streaming service has been at home within vehicles of numerous makes for some time now, but only just recently, the company has decided to put some more focused attention on the scores of drivers who use their automobile-based services everyday.

The Detroit News is reporting that Pandora has signed up Ford and State Farm Insurance for ad space that only those listening to Pandora in their vehicles will hear, thus potentially creating a new revenue stream for the Internet-based company which saw its stock almost triple last year. BP and Taco Bell are also reportedly among the advertisers grabbing the 15 and 30 second ad slots.

Some 130 vehicles and 270 aftermarket devices boast Pandora streaming capabilities, and the company asserts that its service has been activated by 4 million users in cars. “Nearly half of all radio listening takes place in the car,” said Simon Fleming-Wood, who is Pandora’s chief marketing officer, in a statement. “We knew early on that to redefine radio, we would need to seamlessly deliver Pandora through in- dash entertainment systems.”

Ford Sync III

The in-dash Pandora system allows drivers can change stations, choose songs, and skip tracks, akin to the mobile applications and web service, the company said. For Ford, Pandora’s pipe directly into the driver’s vehicle offers the automaker a new opportunity to reach potential customers as well.

“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,” Detroit News quoted Erica Bigley, Ford’s digital marketing manager, as saying in the statement. Pandora said that users in vehicles will hear fewer ads than those listening via a mobile device or online; Pandora One subscribers will, naturally, not hear the ads at all.