Pandora dives deeper into commuter research

Pandora Edison 2016 commuter whitepaper

Yesterday, Edison Research published consumer research into listeners’ habits for radio listening in their cars. Pandora has released its own whitepaper featuring the Edison findings, but also sharing some more insight into listener behavior during their commutes.

The paper reiterated many of Edison’s top findings, such as 90% of commuters listening to terrestrial radio but switching stations an average of 22 times per trip. But it revealed that commercials were the top reason for that channel-flipping, followed closely by disliking the currently-playing song.

Interest in controlling song choice had a bigger impact than just surfing stations: 40% of commuters connect their phones to their cars regularly in order to hear what they want. Because of this habit, 59% of commuters who plan to buy a car in the next year called connected dashboards an “important” factor in their decision.

Pandora projected that the rate of connected cars sold “will only continue to grow as more people upgrade their vehicles and as the demand for digital and streaming increases. Audio advertisers who rely on reaching consumers in the car should take note.”

For cars older than model year 2006, more than half of the music comes from traditional radio (53%). But the streaming music percentage rises for more modern vehicles. Although its share of the total is just 12%, among cars newer than model year 2012 it’s 15%.

Anna Washenko


  1. We’ll see how many people continue to use Pandora once their free version is discontinued. Or is restricted for time, as it was a few years ago.

    • When it comes to these services having a free tier, I’m in agreement with what this article from the Huffington Post says: www(dot)huffingtonpost(dot)com/frederick-chen/dear-taylor-dont-hate-the-freemium_b_7649920(dot)html

      • I’m in agreement with this idea from Tech Crunch on Pandora’s pricing for their move to on-demand: techcrunch.com/2016/03/07/pandora-now/

        • From what I’ve heard on various blogs and articles, Pandora plans to offer free ad-supported radio, paid premium radio, and its own on-demand service.

      • Whether or not I sympathize with an artist complaining about these services, depends on how the artist is doing financially. If the artist is a millionaire, I find their complaint to be rather greedy.

      • I agree that pricing factors into why some people prefer free tiers over subscription tiers.

        I’m on a monthly salary. My paycheck starts at $1000 each month. After bills, groceries, and other necessities, many times my checking account quickly goes down to $300 by the time pay day roles around again at the end of the month. I have to be rather frugal with my entertainment spending.

  2. I definitely will. It’s the best program that gives me hits that I like and introduces me to new music that’s not too far away from my tastes.

  3. I’m researching into signing up for Apple Music, so that I can listen to my iTunes purchase via their Android app.

    • I tried out Apple Music and found it to be rather frustrating. I had issues with it messing up my library. I don’t recommend it.

    • If you decide to sign up for it, sometimes debit cards will not let you do reoccurring payments. If your run into this, then simply buy the “full year at once” option, if that’s available.

      Also, when you purchase online, it’s advisable to use credit cards instead of debit cards. It’s less of a hassle dealing with a really big false charge on your credit card than a bank card. Sure both will eventually work themselves out but I’d rather not have someone empty my checking account while I wait days or weeks for a resolution. As opposed to the credit card company just dealing with it.

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