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Pandora CFO says service coming to CarPlay, calls Apple 'frenemy'

When CarPlay debuted in 2014, Internet radio service Pandora, seemingly a perfect fit for an iOS-based automotive system, was conspicuously absent from Apple's list of launch partners. That may soon change, according to one Pandora executive.




As part of a wide ranging interview with FOX Business Network on Tuesday, Pandora's chief financial officer Mike Herring broke the silence on upcoming compatibility with Apple's in-car infotainment solution, saying the streaming service will "definitely be in CarPlay."

While Herring failed to produce a timeline of availability, he is the first company official to comment on Pandora's CarPlay plans. Pandora was a glaring omission when Apple announced CarPlay one year ago, and the streaming Internet music giant has yet to make its way onto Apple's in-dash system.

With CarPlay to be featured in 40 new car models made by major manufacturers, Apple's is primed to significantly expand its footprint. For Pandora, partnering up on the project could be a boon for subscriptions.

Aside from CarPlay, Herring said Pandora and Apple have a "frenemy kind of relationship going on," noting that while the two companies are partners, it is a "very interesting relationship."

After releasing iTunes Radio and purchasing Beats Music, Apple is now a direct rival to Pandora's free and subscription tiers. The streaming music industry is rife with competition and constantly faces pushback from record labels wary of ceding content rights.

The iPhone maker is heavily rumored to be hard at work on a redesigned, and possibly rebranded, Beats Music According to insiders, Nine Inch Nails frontman and Beats' former chief creative officer Trent Reznor is now in charge of developing the service.