Until now Pandora Media has gotten nearly all of its advertising revenues from national advertisers, but that is changing. In his first quarterly conference call with Wall Street analysts, and after reporting record results, Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy said the company is “investing aggressively” in its sales force – and he made it clear that selling local advertising is where the company sees big growth coming.
Kennedy noted that local advertising tends to command higher CPMs than national. Pandora has already started a local sales initiative in Portland, OR. That’s still too small to have a real impact on the company’s total numbers – but it is just the beginning.
The CEO focused on the market-by-market data it recently released from Edison Research to make his pitch that Pandora is a strong competitor to local radio. The figure claimed in the quarterly report is that Pandora now claims 3.6% of all US radio listening. Kennedy pointed to the Edison calculations of AQH numbers to contend that Pandora is now a major player in every market as a “standalone radio station” in delivery of 18-34 listeners.
The objective over the next few years is to monetize that listenership by selling local ads. The company is hiring and plans to put feet on the street.