Pandora Introduces New Ad Formats

Pandora, a streaming music service, is undergoing some major changes to improve the user experience for their 80 million users. They will be utilizing images with sound, and employing native video to enhance their mobile experience.

Pandora is bringing in new responsive mobile display ads that can instantly resize to fit the size of a phone’s screen. This will be a step away from the annoying pop-up ads that we are all familiar with, and the format will also apply to takeover ads and image-based audio ads. In addition, the app has added muted video ads that will let marketers deliver ads within an interactive display unit that has options to unmute or watch in full screen.

According to the Senior Product Manager of Pandora, Jonathon Eccles, the aim of the updates is to improve the visual experience of users by introducing more natural and stylized navigation throughout the app. Although Pandora is usually considered a listening format, there is still a need and emphasis on the visual aspects of the app.

“It’s a wildly successful listening format – we see over two hours of time spent per day per listener – but a tremendous amount of attention is also visual attention," Eccles said.

 The new updates will also let users dismiss ads with a simple swipe. Pandora has not released the complete list of companies and brands that are a part of the initial project, but they have already reported that the amount of listener engagement with advertisements has doubled.

Pandora runs thousands of ad campaigns each month, and is able to deliver to over 1000 separate audience segments. The new formats will be released in a beta version in August, and will include just fewer than 12 brands including Lexus Dealer Association and the clothing line, Express. The Chief Marketing Officer, Jim Hilt, from Express has already expressed that advertisements on Pandora have worked well for the company.

“These beta opportunities with Pandora have really pushed the boundaries of finding new ways to break through, but in a way that is super relevant and targeted to the customer, which we think is critical to our success and Pandora’s success,” said Hilt.    

Express will be focusing their efforts on promoting a new campaign, which will draw a similarity between denim and music, and demonstrate that they to be personalized. Express has already made note of the increased amount of customers who use their smart phones in their stores, and they provide a Pandora station to build relationships with their customers. 

Recently, Pandora has completed some surveys with their listeners, and nearly 75 percent have said that they prefer the new ad formats over the old forms, and that it would be more probable that they would engage with the ad content. The new updates to the app show that the music service has continued their drive to bring the best solutions for both their advertisers and listeners. These ad formats are set to be released on January 19th.