Pandora, the leading music-streaming service on the Internet, is seeking to modernize the advertisement experience that it shows to its 80 million monthly subscribers. Pandora is planning to show advertisements to its users that would be both more visual and interactive. The advertisements would feature images and sounds in combination with native video in the mobile phone application. The goal of this change, according to Jonathan Eccles, the senior product manager at Pandora, is to provide a “native but styled” experience to the users while they move around the mobile application screen.
It is very easy to think of Pandora as only a listening medium, after all it is a music-streaming service that lets users listen to their favorite tunes and can also recommend what the users might like. “And it’s a wildly successful listening format- we see over two hours of time spent per day per listener” said Jonathan in an interview, “but a tremendous amount of attention is also visual attention”. Pandora is rolling out responsive advertisements for its mobile application format which would automatically adjust itself to the size of the mobile display and would stay in the square space which usually displays information about the song being played. Pandora wants to move away from advertisements popping up while the song is playing. This new format would also apply to the images that usually accompany an audio advertisement and takeover advertisements that provide the first impression of a product. Another major update for Pandora is the offering of muted advertisements that will run in the realm of a responsive screen, which can be unmuted if the user wants to learn more about the product or service being offered.
The new advertisement format would also allow the companies providing the ads to measure the engagement of the listener, including how much time each user is spending in the advertisement and viewability of the ad, and it will support IAB standard ads as well as programmatic needs. Pandora has partnered with Moat to measure in-app viewability. The new format would allow the listener to dismiss a particular advertisement by swiping at the mobile phone display.
During the pilot program, according to Pandora the number of users who visited an advertising company’s page whose ad lasted more than 30 seconds more than doubled. Pandora Radio App will launch a beta test for testing out the new format in August with nearly a dozen brands.