Marketing & Advertising

The Sound of Good Advertising

Overview Pandora shares how they personalize audio advertising for their listeners and why what’s good for the listener is good for the advertiser.

Pandora, in partnership with SoundCloud, delivers 114 million unique listeners every month, and with 90% of its audience listening on the free subscription tier, advertisers can reach the largest ad-supported audience of any digital audio publisher in the U.S.

The music streaming company says that its listening experience is as personalized as the listener’s thumbprint.

“Pandora delivers listeners the best, personalized audio entertainment experience in the market,” said John Trimble, chief revenue officer at Pandora. “We hold our advertising products to that same standard.”

When brands can serve an advertisement to a listener without it feeling forced or interruptive, listeners are more receptive. As a result, advertisers make a more lasting, positive impression.


Music to Our Ears

Pandora sees three major technology trends that are influencing audio advertising:

  • Connected Homes: The adoption of connected home objects is accelerating year over year as customers see the versatility, simplicity and value of these devices. Pandora is integrated into more than 2,000 connected devices, making smart home use its second largest platform, following mobile.

  • Connected Cars: Pandora has seen a 98% growth in the car audience in just three years, and they anticipate and support rapid growth in this area with the expansion of car interior interfaces. Pandora is currently included in more than 200 car models.

  • Voice Activation: As voice becomes a dominant interface for controlling experiences, marketers must be prepared to engage consumers in that way. Pandora currently uses voice mode capabilities and has partnered with brands to create innovative voice ad experiences to better engage audiences.

Hitting All the Right Notes

Looking ahead to a future of connected cars, voice activation, and screenless devices, Pandora expects audio advertising to be more dynamic, contextual, and conversational.

“We’ve seen a shift towards our listeners using their voice as an interface to have a frictionless experience with Pandora,” said Trimble. “We have been tracking this behavior since we launched Voice Mode, setting advertisers up for success as we make voice ads generally available on the platform.”

The team developed a suite of personalized audio products that enable brand advertisers to deliver messaging based on real-time data signals, such as time, weather, device and more. Understanding where messages are being seen, whether that is in the home, on a car display or on a mobile device helps advertisers decide what they say, how they say it, and who they are trying to reach.

Pandora has also run extensive experiments around advertising optimization, including the best length for an ad and how much personalization to use.

Because one of the company’s core values is putting the audience first, the Pandora team has worked to incorporate personalization into their ads, leveraging audience segmentation, contextual targeting and ad load personalization into their intelligent ad delivery platform, a proprietary platform that recommends when to serve an ad based on an individual’s behavior on the platform.

“We know our listeners well, which means we know when they don’t want to be interrupted and when they’ll be most receptive to hearing an ad,” Trimble noted. “This means advertisers can take advantage of putting their message in front of listeners at the right time to maximize impact.”

Pandora and SiriusXM will be at CES 2020 to showcase new advancements in both satellite and streaming audio platforms.

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See Pandora at CES 2020 at C Space.

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