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CES: Pandora’s Westergren is Confident

Reiterates his theme of late: Personalized radio is the future

Personalized radio is the future, and “We’re the best” of those services. So says Pandora President/CEO Tim Westergren in comments to Radio World at Pandora’s suite here at CES.

Pandora personalized Internet radio is or will be in 16 automakers’ brands this year, up from four last year. The service is also now in some 400 devices — including a refrigerator.

The company is hiring sales people and programmers from traditional radio and selling advertising in the top markets, he said.

Meanwhile, in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, Ford is demoing the latest updates to its Sync with AppLink. NPR is one of those apps, as are iHeartRadio, Slacker and Pandora.

Users can download the NPR app now from the Apple iTunes App Store or the Android Market which drives their smartphone that’s connected with a cable to the dashboard of Fords that have the Sync option.

Using voice controls, touchscreen commands and “forward” and back” buttons on the steering wheel, users can choose from local NPR station material as well as NPR network stories, searching by story category. NPR’s Zach Brand tells Radio World several NPR departments contributed to the effort, including the editorial team, NPR Digital Media and NPR Labs.

Watch for more news from CES.