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Pandora Says 2.5 Million Use Service in Cars; Shares Gain

Pandora Media Inc., the biggest online radio service, said the number of U.S. listeners in cars topped 2.5 million, a milestone in efforts to win customers from traditional stations. The stock rose the most since March 8.

Listeners obtain the service from 23 auto brands and eight car-stereo makers, Oakland, California-based Pandora said today in an e-mailed statement. This year, Pandora will become available in more than 100 models, Chief Marketing Officer Simon Fleming-Wood said.

About half of all listening takes place in autos, a crucial battleground in the $15 billion local radio advertising market. Pandora, with more than 70 million monthly users, will come installed in one-third of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. this year, the company said.

Pandora also plans to make the service available in Dodge, Infiniti, Jeep, Kia and Ram brands. Its partnerships with the auto industry started with Ford Motor Co. in 2010.

The shares gained 8.5 percent to $16.41 at the close in New York, the biggest advance since March 8. The stock has climbed 79 percent this year, compared with the 11 percent gain for the Russell 1000 Index.

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