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Pandora to Launch Auto Platform Ads

National brands include BP, Ford Motor Company, State Farm and Taco Bell

Pandora will begin rolling out in-car advertising this month.

National clients include BP, Ford Motor Co., State Farm and Taco Bell. These 15- and 30-second ads will run across the 130 vehicle models that integrate Pandora and some 270 aftermarket automotive devices.

Pandora promises to deliver fewer audio ads to cars than on its other platforms. Pandora One premium subscription accounts remain ad-free.

The Internet audio service also reported 76.2 million active monthly listeners and 1.58 billion listening hours via its platforms for December. Some 4 million unique users have activated Pandora through 23 auto brands and eight aftermarket manufacturers.

Pandora Chief Marketing Officer Simon Fleming-Wood noted in the announcement that nearly half of all radio listening takes place in the car. “We knew early on that to redefine radio, we would need to seamlessly deliver Pandora through in-dash entertainment systems.”

Pandora believes it has an 8.6% share of total U.S. radio listening, though broadcasters have challenged that number. He says the company can connect advertisers “with a more targeted audience than traditional radio can provide.”

Through a tethered smartphone, Pandora automotive integrations shift controls like station creation and thumb feedback, from mobile devices to in-dash systems, so listening “is as easy as AM/FM radio.” The company announced its first auto partnership with Ford in 2010.