Pandora launches new small business initiative


Pandora has unveiled a new initiative aimed at the small-to-medium-sized business market offering them the “powerful advertising tools their larger counterparts already enjoy.”

Pandora is creating a multi-platform presence that’s expanding from the web to mobile to consumer devices and soon to automobiles for all advertisers.  Now small-to-medium-sized businesses will have ready access to Pandora’s audience through a dedicated sales team and a convenient ad platform that automates ad creation and serving.

Pandora’s new SMB ad sales team, comprised of a group of experienced salespeople, is based at Pandora’s Oakland, CA, HQ under the direction of vice president of performance ad sales, Brian Mikalis.

“As we grow our user base, it makes sense to identify ways to scale our business and provide access for every size advertiser, from the biggest brands to the specialty and neighborhood shops who want to get their marketing messages out to their best prospects,” said John Trimble, chief revenue office for Pandora. “Now we are able to offer broader, multi-platform marketing solutions with deep targeting and campaign optimization to businesses that previously didn’t have an affordable advertising solution.”  

By partnering with AdReady, a company that makes display advertising accessible to advertisers of any size, Pandora’s new sales team will be able to develop creative assets, traffic and manage campaigns for clients that it previously could not cost effectively service. Now marketers of all sizes such as bands, summer festivals, and local colleges, will be able to leverage the effectiveness and reach of targeted display ad campaigns across Pandora’s growing audience.

“In this current climate of immediate accessibility, the team at Pandora steps it up and delivers what you want, when you need it,”  said Kathleen Pittman, president of Green Bottle Media LLC, a full-service media planning and buying service. “With virtually no turn-around time at all, the folks at Pandora were able to present multiple, well-thought-out solutions for a multi-market, regional client—a popular chain of burrito eateries in Texas, implement the plan seamlessly, and report promptly back to us.”

According to Pittman, the results of the campaign on Pandora generated more than three times the click through rate than any other online placement for Green Bottle Media’s fourth quarter 2009 campaign for this client.     

RBR-TVBR observation: What’s this going do to terrestrial radio? The recent Barclays forecast says having endured an enormous slump in 2009, radio should have a local-TV-like rebound in 2010. Barclays now expects radio revenues to grow 2.2% in 2010. That includes roughly $350 million of online ad revenues associated with radio stations, up 8% over 2009. Pandora is becoming a real force to be reckoned with advertisers. It may help this $350 figure, it may hurt it – depending on whether or not the new Pandora local initiative opens the eyes of local and regional clients to the power of targeted streaming media even wider. Remember, many local radio stations can now direct different, specialized spots to different listeners simultaneously with their online stream(s) as well.