Pandora launches programmatic mobile ad solution

Online radio service Pandora earlier this week announced its display ad inventory to be available for programmatic buying on mobile devices. The platform’s private ad exchange now holds live auctions for advertisers to place bids on ads to run in Pandora’s apps. Advertisers can target users who are currently listening on the app.
Pandora launches programmatic ad buying
In March this year, Pandora began trialling its private exchange sales of mobile ads with large brands Ford and agency Essence. Now, it has officially rolled out the solution. In addition to targeting features such as culture, politics and other demographics, third-party data sets can be selected as an option. Given that 80% of its 80m users are active listeners and Pandora is the number one app in terms of time spent, according to comScore and Marketingland, the solution looks promising for advertisers. Jack Krawczyk, VP of Ad Product Management, Pandora, said:

“Because we have a persistently logged-in user, if we see someone on web and mobile, we’re able to target against them. The challenge of cross-device attribution of audiences is important when you’re doing retargeting. If we’re working to deliver an audience of, say, adults 25 to 34, we have declared data in that space and can deliver on that.”

Pandora works with WhiteOps and Moat to offer non-bot traffic and according to Krawczyk the company scores extremely high for bot-free traffic.
Despite 78% of its overall revenue coming from mobile, the company does not yet make as much from ads service on smartphones versus computers. On average, the company makes $23 more in ad revenue for every thousand listening hours on desktop. The addition of programmatic buying may help steer the company in the right direction to even out its revenue stream on mobile.
Krawczyk said that the private exchange was not open to all advertisers, but only those that have previously bought ads directly from Pandora. He says:

“In order to be able to transact with transparency as well as target with first-party data, you have to have a direct relationship with (Pandora) to buy into the marketplace.”

The new offering is part of a growing trend among music streaming services to advance their advertising services, with many of them being able to provide a wide variety of users and targeting options. iHeartRadio recently announced programmatic buying for its 850 radio stations and Spotify launched new targeting features through custom playlists.

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