Pandora CTO: cars need an internet connection

Techcrunch interviews Pandora CTO Tom Conrad at CES and he talks about the next big growth phase for Pandora, the car.  Tom says that 50% of all music listening happens in the car.  Right now they are leveraging smart phones because of connectivity but the future is automobiles having their own internet connection.

Pandora announced two deals, one with Toyota for its Entune platform and the other is with BMW.

From the press release: “Executive Vice President of Business Development Jessica Steel stated, “Our automotive partnerships further ensure that Pandora is being heard in the most popular environment for radio listening: the car. We’re very pleased to have Toyota as a key partner in this space where we aspire to make Pandora in cars as popular as Pandora on smart-phones.”

Toyota Entune key features include:

•    Mobile Apps – Toyota Entune debuts Bing, keeping navigation continuously up to date with more than 16 million points of interest; OpenTable, make a reservation at one of 15,000 restaurants; and MovieTickets.com, buy movie tickets and read reviews.  All destinations can be seamlessly sent to the navigation system.  Making drivers’ lives even easier, Toyota Entune delivers customizable real time traffic, fuel prices, weather, stocks and sports.

•    Music – Toyota Entune brings you more music in more ways with iheartradio’s 750+ hometown stations; personalized stations with Pandora; XM satellite radio 170+ channels with coast-to-coast coverage; and introducing HD Radio, digital broadcasts of your favorite terrestrial music.  Toyota Entune also offers USB connectivity for portable media players and traditional terrestrial radio.

•    Voice Recognition – Featuring a best-in-class, advanced conversational voice recognition system, Toyota Entune eliminates the need to memorize thousands of voice commands.  The intuitive interface allows the driver to focus more on the road ahead.

About Daniel Davenport

Daniel is a digital media executive with internet and broadcast experience. Daniel is currently the executive strategy director at THINK Interactive.

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