Pandora goes local with new ad platform

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Pandora goes local with new ad platform
Pandora goes local with new ad platform

Online radio service Pandora is launching the Pandora Local Reseller Program, a platform designed to allow local media companies to sell Pandora inventory combined with their own advertising products, says Pandora's executive director of sales strategy, John Hilton.

Pandora will partner with media organizations, including newspapers and local TV stations, to help the latter utilize Pandora's mobile technology, which in turn will help Pandora better reach its secondary and tertiary markets.

“It's really a great exchange of value [and] a mutually beneficial relationship where we complement one another,” Hilton says.

The interactive ads, which have already started, will appear on Pandora and allow local marketers to target “the most likely consumers,” says Hilton, who notes that 70% of Pandora users listen on mobile devices.

Until now, Pandora was available to national advertisers only. The decision to put a new focus on local was in reaction to both the company's growth and the continuing growth of mobile in all markets, he says.

The platform will enable advertisers to hyper-target consumers by categories as granular as county, sex and age. Previously local advertisers such as the Planet Honda in New Jersey paid for radio advertising that went out to the entire northeast, as opposed to just the niche area the dealership really wanted to reach.

“This … wouldn't make sense because the company had to pay New York rates when his clients are coming from New Jersey,” Hilton explains. “When we partnered, he was able to focus on communities surrounding his dealership, [for] the demographic he wanted, with the age range he wanted to narrow his target [to], which is the beauty of online advertising.”

Colleges and universities will also benefit by being able to advertise local events, Hilton says.

Pandora has 800 local advertising campaigns scheduled to run this year, Hilton says.  Among the media companies buying into the existing Pandora Local Reseller Program include The Miami Herald, The Salt Lake Tribune, The Tacoma News Tribune, The Ventura County Star and U-T San Diego.

Pandora cofounder Tim Westergren alluded to the growing local advertising trend during his keynote at the Re:Think annual convention in New York City on March 27.

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