For much of the 20th century, radio was a dominant advertising platform. Every operation from the nation’s largest companies to small and mid-sized local businesses allocated much of their advertising budgets towards advertising on the radio each year.
Radio has always provided effective opportunities to build a brand or drive awareness about a product or service. Compared to print or television ads, they’re also more affordable.
Plus, radio remains the only advertising medium that’s inherently portable. Through radio, you can reach people at home, and while they’re away. Other avenues, such as print, digital, or television, require that the user is paying attention, either to a screen or what’s on a page.
Of course, radio ads weren’t without their flaws. They were expensive, they were virtually impossible to track or determine an ROI on, and people would often switch stations to avoid hearing ads in the first place.
As new advertising products become available, traditional radio advertising grows continually less popular. For many businesses, radio advertising isn’t a strong fit for their advertising needs anymore.
While the popularity of traditional radio has declined, a new way to listen to the radio has breathed new life into the industry and restored radio’s usefulness as an advertising medium.
Internet radio solves many of the problems that were inherent in traditional radio advertising. It’s affordable, it’s highly targeted, and it’s easier to track, and it may make a useful addition to your advertising portfolio. Of the internet radio providers, Pandora is by far the largest, and most compelling for advertisers of all sizes.
Whether you’re a national brand, a mid-sized company, or a local business that’s looking to reach a specific type of customer in your area, Pandora has ad products that are geared to your needs and may work well for your business.
This raises the question of how to advertise on Pandora. Today, we’ll cover the ins and outs of how you can advertise on this popular platform, and the different products Pandora offers.
two years without pay to work towards their goal of launching Pandora.
Pandora launched officially in 2004, originally as a paid service. The company continued to iterate to find it’s fit in the market, and they quickly shed the paid model in favor of an advertising-based model, which is how we know Pandora today.
In 2011, Pandora became a publicly traded company and cemented its status as the undisputed leader in internet radio. Today, they employ over 2,000 people throughout 26 offices and have revenue of well over a billion dollars per year. With over 81 million active users each month, Pandora has also become a compelling place for advertisers both large and small.
22 times on their commute to work. The main reason for all that switching, of course, is commercial breaks. Other contributing factors include an obnoxious radio DJ or a string of songs that the listener just isn’t connecting with.
Meanwhile, Pandora’s advertising model is completely different. Instead of sandwiching large blocks of ads together, Pandora users hear just a few ads per hour. Plus, unlike traditional radio, there’s no way to change the station to escape the ad.
Combine that with the fact that Pandora stations are personalized to the listener’s taste, and there’s no DJ to get in between the listener and the music, and you create a climate where listeners are far more receptive to the advertising they’re hearing.
This ad unit replaces the 300×250 album art window with your display ad. Users who are interested in engaging with your ad can click the ad to open up your full-screen landing page. These units are also a good way to drive product or brand awareness.
To dismiss the ad, the user can either swipe the ad off the screen or tap the mini player at the bottom of the page. This helps reduce the number of misclicks on the ad, which leads to truer engagement statistics when you’re tracking the success of your campaign.
Responsive mobile ads provide similar functionality to their non-responsive counterparts. However, they provide room for interaction between the user and the ad, which non-responsive ads do not.
The example above from Express provides a completely different experience when the ad is opened to full screen, and there are different points of interaction the user can have with the ad before they dismiss it. These types of ads allow one click to an external landing page. So, they can serve your advertising goals beyond just product or brand awareness.
The photo above shows the display components of audio advertising. In addition to the :15 or :30 audio spots, display ads take the place of album artwork, and there are also secondary display ads available in certain formats, such as on a desktop computer.
The display component is available across most formats. However, they are not available on all of them. In connected cars, there’s no album art tile or banner ad. With connected home products, there’s no album art tile displayed.
The display advertising that’s inherent with audio ads is one feature that completely differentiates Pandora audio ads from terrestrial radio advertising. Users who are particularly engaged with the ad they’re hearing can seamlessly click the display ad on their screen to learn more about the product or service.
Depending on the needs of the advertiser, audio ads can be restricted to certain formats, or broadcast throughout all available formats.
The photo above shows how all of the different Pandora video ad products are displayed, including their new muted mobile video product.
pilot program for their audio ads that will allow advertisers to bid on ad space in real time.
Until that marketplace is rolled out for all of Pandora’s advertisers, you should always press your account rep to try and secure the best possible price on advertising.
expand upon the data you have available by creating unique landing pages and tracking them through Google Analytics.
Create a unique landing page for your Pandora ads, add a Google Analytics tag, and you’ll be able to track the success of your campaigns with much greater detail, while also gathering even more demographic information about the user who clicked your ad.
Another way to supercharge your landing page is to provide a special offer or coupon in exchange for the users’ opt-in on email marketing. That way, you’ll be able to continue to reach engaged users from your Pandora campaigns, without ever having to pay to reach them again.
local business looking to drive awareness about your store, products, or an sale you’re having, a ecommerce brand looking to reinforce your position in the market, or somewhere in between, Pandora’s suite of ad products has something for everyone.
Thanks to robust targeting ability, a strong listener base that’s about as large as ¼ of the entire United States population, and tracking and reporting that greatly exceeds what terrestrial radio has been able to deliver to advertisers, Pandora is certainly a platform to consider when planning your advertising budget.
If you’re wondering how to advertise on Pandora, the next step for you is to contact them here. An account rep with Pandora will contact you so you can discuss the different options that are available for your business and create a plan around your advertising goals.
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