Pandora and iHeartRadio, the top two Internet radio services in the U.S., have a similar message from the CES conference in Las Vegas: we're still going after the automobile.
Pandora announced Monday the Chrysler Group is the latest brand to integrate the popular Internet radio service in its automobiles via Uconnect Access. Chrysler is one of 19 automotive brands in the U.S. and 7 aftermarket manufacturers that offer Pandora in an in-dash entertainment system. The company says there are now more than 85 different car models that include Pandora and more are on the way in 2013.
Clear Channel announced that its iHeartRadio will be added to Chrysler's Uconnect and select 2014 GM infotainment systems. In addition, a new made-for-driving app called IHeartRadio for Auto launched today to enable aftermarket products to incorporate the app. Later this year, iHeartRadio will be featured in GM's new app catalog. This will give drivers a native iHeartRadio app directly in their dashboards.
There's a good reason why Internet radio companies have such a big presence at CES every year: integration with automobile stereo systems, and other consumer electronics, is vital to the success of Internet radio's business model. Pandora is now available in more than 760 consumer electronics devices, up 450% from this time last year, and the company says more than 75% of its listening occurs on mobile phones or other connected devices.
There are an extraordinary number of listening hours up for grabs in the automobile. According to Arbitron, just 17% of mobile phone owners surveyed used a mobile phone to listen to Internet radio in their cars in 2012, up from 11% in 2011.