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Archives » Interviews

Digital Radio Ads: Pandora Exec Describes Targeting, Mobile, Video Opps

Published 2 years ago

Pandora Radio’s Senior VP of Strategic Solutions Heidi Browning sat down with the experts at eMarketer, and detailed just how advertisers can (and should) take advantage of the digital radio platform.

“Connecting bands with brands and fans is one of our main missions…Consumers have personal relationships with Pandora because they feel like Pandora knows them,” said Browning. She went on to describe a “plethora” of national and local-level brands that have advertised on the platform.

Pandora is light on subscribers but heavy on advertising, like broadcast radio. That's OK for advertisers: according to the NPD Group, AM/FM listenership remained flat in 2011, while online radio is the fastest growing music listening option among U.S. consumers, with 43% of U.S. Web users having listened to music via Pandora, Slacker, Yahoo! Music, and other online radio options in 2011; that was up 9% over 2010. 

In terms of targeting, Pandora at registration gathers age, gender and ZIP code information, allowing it to target ads based on that data. So Pandora is able to target political ads by state, county and congressional districts. “We also target based on time of day. We know when people are listening and on what types of devices. “ That on top of targeting based on music genre or artists, “where advertisers can get clever.” For example, Pandora enables quick ads to run during pausing or sharing a selection, when consumers are guaranteed to be looking at the screen, versus just listening.

Browning claims that about 70% of its listening hours occur on mobile devices, the remainder through nontraditional devices like TVs, tablets and in automobiles. “It’s shifting toward having Pandora in your pocket,” said Browning “Partly a reflection of the explosion in smartphone adoption as well as tablet adoption.” The smart phone boom has perhaps taken Pandora unawares; it has monetized the web for a decade, but is now shifting to mobile devices, but Browning believes the ad market hasn’t quite “caught up with the consumption market.” Because it is a listening platform, Pandora is focused both on visual advertising (e.g., screen takeovers for film releases), as well as audio ad units.

Still, video is key to the ad strategy as well, and Browning claims almost 90% completion rates on video, particularly during those pause/change station/skipping/sharing moments, and “incredible” clickthrough rates.

Finally, Pandora has created an entire video series of sponsored interviews with artists, with Mercedes-Benz sponsoring a series called “Moms Who Rock,” about how mom rock stars juggle family and career (including touring). “The videos are perfect for marketers looking to complement their advertising with value exchanges,” said Browning.

Device’s Screen Size May Determine Conversion Likelihood

Published 2 years, 5 months ago

While search advertisers experience higher click-through-rates for mobile phone and tablet search campaigns than for desktop search campaigns (at 166% and 137% respectively) according to a November 2011 report from Macquarie Group, those clicks are less likely to convert to sales in a direct relationship to screen size. The report employed Efficient Frontier advertiser data. Efficient Frontier found that mobile conversion rates were at just 31% of the average desktop campaign’s, while tablet conversion rates were much more on par (96%). Meanwhile, the average cost-per-click (CPC) on mobile phone search campaigns was slightly higher (108%) than for desktop search campaigns, although CPCs for tablet campaigns were on average 85% of desktop search campaign CPCs.

NPR Affiliates Meet, Surpass Fundraising Targets

Published 3 years ago
“One of the objectives of our on-air campaigns is to hear from first-time contributors and 38% of our donors were giving to the station for the first time making this a very successful campaign. We were hoping to receive $500,000 in pledges and ended up with a little more than $520,000 from more than 4,200 contributors." This comes from Tim Eby who is the General Manager of St. Louis Public Radio KWMU, interviewed by Whether it is the improving economy, the defunding in Washington or the concern of listeners to keep up local news reporting, NPR affiliates are reporting very successful 2011 campaigns.

Interview: NAB Still in Pursuit Radio-Enabled Mobile Phones

Published 3 years, 1 month ago
Gordon Smith, lobbyist for NAB, sits down with for a discussion of the mood on the Hill, in terms of the radio agenda including performance rights and the NAB’s effort to get FM chips into mobile devices, which remains a priority. Some excerpts follow:

NYT: “Obligated” to Publish WikiLeaks

Published 3 years, 2 months ago
  • The New York Times felt obligated to publish materials from WikiLeaks, despite the “distaste” the newspaper felt for WikiLeaks and Julian Assange by association, explains NYT executive editor, Bill Keller, at a monthly media discussion put on by George Washington University in D.C., after all, we are talking "All the News That's Fit to Print," as was named the session at the university. PBS has the coverage of the discussion here.

Havas Chief Sees No Clear Signs of Ad Market Recovery

Published 4 years, 6 months ago
Havas's chief executive Fernando Rodes Vila told reporters after a press conference that he has not yet seen clear signs of an advertising market recovery. He expects the global ad market to slip between 7% and 11% this year.