LOS ANGELES (Bloomberg) -- Pandora Media Inc., the biggest online radio service, said the number of U.S. listeners in cars topped 2.5 million, a milestone in its effort to win customers from traditional stations.
Listeners obtain the service from 23 auto brands and eight car-stereo makers, Oakland, Calif.-based Pandora said today.
This year, Pandora will become available in more than 100 models, CEO 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 United States 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 company's shares gained 8.5 percent today to close at $16.41 in New York Stock Exchange trading.
The stock had climbed 65 percent this year through yesterday, compared with the 10 percent gain for the Russell 1000 Index.