Pandora and the Final, Crucial Internet Radio Frontier: The Car (TCTV)

At CES this week, Pandora made two announcements that get its popular Internet radio service into cars, one for Toyota and one for BMW. But while exciting, the reality is these are still hacks that use your smart phone to solve the big car Internet radio problem: Connectivity.

It’s a big problem but a crucial one for Pandora to solve if it wants to realize its mission of being wherever radio is. According to Pandora’s CTO Tom Conrad, 50% of all radio listening happens in the car– and frankly I’m surprised the number is that low.

I pulled Conrad away from the madness of CES to ask him when I’d be able to buy or rent a car and see AM, FM, CD, Satellite Radio and Pandora– all native. Hint: The only thing Pandora has ruled out in getting there is becoming an automaker.