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Pandora – built into your next car, and bundled into its price

This is something I have predicted for some time (not because I'm so smart, but because it's so obvious), and I'm not the only one.

From GigaOM:

Net radio provider Pandora is preparing to move more aggressively into the automotive space, with deeper integration with car radios and controls on the horizon. During an early afternoon panel at the SF Music Tech Summit, chief technology officer Tom Conrad said the company’s mobile strategy will first hinge on a transitional phase in which its smartphone apps will be controlled from dashboard or steering-wheel interfaces, before dispensing with the smartphones altogether as the service is built into web-connected cars. Within a few years, new cars will have Pandora built in and “bundled with either the price of the car or services associated with the car,” he said, ramping up competition with subscription-based satellite radio providers as well as terrestrial radio broadcasters. While he wouldn’t commit to a time frame for the first implementations, and automotive innovation cycles are notoriously long, Conrad hinted that some relevant announcements could be coming out of next month’s CES event in Las Vegas.

Two of the huge advantages of radio are its ease of use and its ubiquity.

The path to the mainstream requires radio alternatives to charge up both of those beach-heads.  They must be on equal footing with radio – not separated by devices or cables or subscription fees apart from the cost of the car itself.  Not plug-ins, not add-ons.  Built in.  No speed bumps or hoops included.

This is Pandora's path.  Note the specific words above:  "deeper integration with car radios and controls."

And they're not alone.

What are you "best in the world" at?

Or are you simply "good enough when there's no more convenient option"?

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