The connected car and the battle for dominance of in-car entertainment is on. And Pandora is making a big noise. The internet radio service has partnered with Ford Australia, putting the music streaming brand on track to be built in to 60% of new cars in Australia next year.
The partnership that kicks off today will see Pandora being installed as an app in the dashboard across a range of Ford models including the Fiesta ST and Focus ST and Ford Kuga.
Pandora will also roll out across other Ford models including the Fiesta, Focus, Ranger and Transit models by early 2015.
“We really believe that the battle for in car entertainment is really on the verge of heating up here and across the world,” Jane Huxley, managing director, Pandora ANZ told AdNews.
“Pandora is truly positioned at the forefront based on the longevity of the partnerships from our team in Oakland, it's just an exciting place to be right now,” she said.
Pandora plans to use the in-car platform to send targeted advertising messages to Australian drivers down the line, as it already does in the US.
“In the US we are now targeting ads to vehicles, we don't have the scale to do that here just yet but we are very much following in our counterparts in Oaklands footsteps in being able to target messages to cars,” Huxley said.
Pandora is a key launch application of Ford’s AppLink technology. Available on select Ford vehicles and exclusive to the auto brand’s in-car connected entertainment system SYNC, Ford AppLink uses voice-activated technology to connect drivers with smartphone applications while driving.
When in music playing mode and connected to SYNC, Pandora will automatically lock mobile devices and respond only to voice and steering wheel commands, minimising distractions for drivers.
“The car is the traditional home of radio, and with Pandora now seamlessly incorporated in many models of Ford vehicles, we can ensure our listeners continue enjoying Pandora no matter where they are commuting or travelling,” Rick Gleave, director of business development, Pandora ANZ said.
“For the first time, listeners will enjoy the fully integrated suite of Pandora features, replicated from their mobile to the dashboard in their vehicle, ensuring driver focus remains where it should be, on the road.”
Pandora locally also partners with Holden, Mazda and Nissan as well as stereo makers Kenwood, Clarion and Sony which means drivers buying second hand cars, can upgrade their stereo to include connected Pandora services.
Earlier this year Pandora cracked the 2 million listener mark.
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