Tim Westergren: Listening In Car Is Pandora's 'Holy Grail'
October 22, 2010 at 4:27 AM (PT)
PANDORA founder TIM WESTERGREN, in an interview with the LOS ANGELES TIMES, called listening in the car his company's "holy grail" and noted that "(h)alf of the 20 million people who have PANDORA on their iPHONES use it ... in the car."
"Simply put," WESTERGREN said, "half of radio listening happens in the car. People spend 20 hours a week listening to music; 17 hours of that is from radio. About half of that radio listening, or 8.5 hours, occurs while they're in a car." He said that PANDORA is "actively developing products with car manufacturers and after-market stereo companies such as PIONEER and others. We're already working with FORD, MERCEDES and other companies that we can't talk about now. Our goal is to be in every new car that rolls off the manufacturing line." While PANDORA does have iPHONE penetration in cars, he noted that his company "can't promote that kind of usage because of the safety concerns involved when you're driving and trying to control your phone at the same time. So the future is in being able to control PANDORA right from your steering wheel."
WESTERGREN also noted that the customizable music streaming service is on 200 unique devices, including TVs and Blu-Ray players, and said that the company's paid subscription service has a "tiny number" of subscribers.
What will Pandora's continuing move to in-car listening mean for traditional radio, and what should terrestrial radio be doing to respond? Post your thoughts below: