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Pandora in the news…again

September 28th, 2009

I have a lot of respect for the tenacity and vision of Tim Westergren and the gang over at Pandora.  If you’re a fan, there is a great interview with Tim available on press:here (I’ve embedded the first section below but you can get all three sections through the previous link).  In addition, TechCrunch ran a story on Friday, detailing how they were on the verge of shuttering their doors only to break through and expecting to be cash positive by the end of 2009. 

According to Tim, Americans spend 20 hours a week listening to music, 17 of which is not self selected (meaning, they are not grabbing a CD and popping it into their player – rather they are streaming music: Radio, Internet, etc).  This equals a significant opportunity to advertise to an attractive audience set.  Pandora has capitalized on this by creating a service where the the user is very interactive with the website – up to 7 times per hour rating songs or bookmarking songs.  Each of these user activities provide the opportunity to present an advertisement through a ‘skin’ on the site or a video interstitial between songs (Intel has used both in our advertising efforts with Pandora).  That, coupled with the 10-15 second audio spots sprinkled within your stream, ensures a significant interaction between brand advertiser and consumer on Pandora each hour.

From his discussion with Sarah Lacy of TechCrunch post-interview with press:here regarding the success of advertising on Pandora:

I think it’s because the interaction doesn’t feel like work. It’s a natural instinct tied to the ability to affect the listening, and it’s rewarding.” (credit TechCrunch)

That reward translates into a significantly higher interaction rate (up to 10x) with ads served on Pandora when compared to industry average – which will make advertisers very happy.  Count me as one of them.  Keep up the great work Tim and Team Pandora.

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