Most Read: Business

 Last Update: : AM 04/26/2015(NASDAQ&DJIA)

World Markets from      


Other Market Data from      


Key Rates from      


Blog Contributors

Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee covers technology policy, including copyright and patent law, telecom regulation, privacy, and free speech. He also writes about the economics of technology. He has previously written for Ars Technica and Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter or send him email.

Brian Fung

Brian Fung

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on electronic privacy, national security, digital politics and the Internet that binds it all together. He was previously the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic. His writing has also appeared in Foreign Policy, Talking Points Memo, the American Prospect and Nonprofit Quarterly. Follow Brian on Google+ .

Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government. She also delves into the societal impacts of technology access and how innovation is intertwined with cultural development.

Post Tech
About / Where's Post I.T.?   |    Twitter  |   On Facebook  |  RSS RSS Feed  |  E-Mail Cecilia
Posted at 02:29 PM ET, 01/11/2012

Pandora focuses on cars

Joe Kennedy, third from left, chief executive officer & president, and Tim Westergren, fourth from left, chief strategy officer and founder of Pandora Internet radio, ring the NYSE opening bell to celebrate their company's IPO at the New York Stock Exchange on June 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) (Richard Drew - AP)
LAS VEGAS--Pandora co-founder Tim Westergren doesn't drive much. "I'm a public transport guy," he said. But he does know that half of all radio listening is in cars and that's made the auto market the Internet radio company's major focus over the past year.

At the Consumer Electronics Show, Westergren announced deals with 16 car makers— from the first partner, Ford, to latest partner Kia— to incorporate Pandora into car dashboards or allow users to stream the service through their smartphones into car audio systems.
It's part of the firm's strategy to get its 125 million users to bring the service with them wherever they go and get them to listen even longer. The free service is so far supported by advertising, but ad revenues need to grow to to keep that model going, analysts say. Only 10 percent of customers use its premium paid service.

"It's one of those things where you have to build a big audience first and then advertising catches up," Westergren said in an interview at the company's suite at the Wynn Hotel here. 

But he said many partners see Pandora as an essential brand for their products. The app was among the top downloaded on tablets like the iPad last year. Roku, an Internet television service, features Pandora as one of three buttons on its remote control for highly demanded apps.

On the show floor, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota were among firms touting the service on their dashboards. Not long ago, those car makers couldn't see the value in teaming up with the Web service.

The company follows satellite service XM Radio, which has benefited from car buyers seeking alternatives to regular radio broadcast. But it's also tied its fortunes tightly to the ups and downs of the auto market. 

For this public transportation co-founder, could that also be a risk?

“We don't have a huge amount of hardware and per car costs like satellite radio does. Cars are just one piece. A big one, but just one piece for us,” Westergren said.

By  |  02:29 PM ET, 01/11/2012

Tags:  Online Music

Read what others are saying

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company