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Media in Focus - Pandora Internet Radio

Pandora Internet Radio entered the Australian and New Zealand markets in 2012 and has built an audience of *2 million subscribers who access and share personalised music through Pandora's unique Music Genome Project. With an advertising model based on 'complementing the listener's experience' they offer marketers targeted audience reach across multiple digital devices.

In this comprehensive profile, Pandora Australia's Business Development Director -
Rick Gleave - offers insights including their market position, audience and commercial plans.

Quick Facts

  • Pandora launched - in the United States in 2000 & 2012 in Australia & New Zealand
  • Ownership - Pandora Internet Radio was listed on the US Stock Exchange in 2011
  • Markets - North America, Australia & New Zealand
  • Prime Consumer Market - You. Anyone that wants great music to play anywhere, anytime
  • Audience - *2 million subscribers in Australia and New Zealand. 70% through mobile

Tell us about Pandora - what is your market position?Media in Focus - Pandora Internet Radio - Rick Gleave


Pandora’s purpose is to unleash the infinite power of music, with the vision of being the effortless source of personalised music enjoyment and discovery for billions.


At Pandora, we have a single mission: To play only music our listeners will love. To understand just how we do this, and why we think we do it really, really well, you need to know about the Music Genome Project® - the beating heart and the backbone of Pandora.  


Since Pandora launched in 2000, we have been hard at work on the Music Genome Project.  It's the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken.


Together our team of musician-analysts have been listening to music, one song at a time, studying and collecting literally hundreds of musical details on every track - melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics ... and more. We continue this work every day to keep up with the incredible flow of great new music coming from studios, stadiums and garages around the country.


With Pandora you can explore this vast trove of music to your heart's content. Just drop the name of one of your favourite songs, artists or genres into Pandora and let the Music Genome Project go. It will quickly scan its entire world of analysed music, almost a century of popular recordings - new and old, well known and completely obscure - to find songs with interesting musical similarities to your choice. Then sit back and enjoy as it creates a listening experience full of current and soon-to-be favourite songs for you.


You can create up to 100 unique "stations." And you can even refine them. If it's not quite right you can tell it so and it will get better for you.


The Music Genome Project was founded by musicians and music-lovers. We believe in the value of music and have a profound respect for those who create it. We like all kinds of music, from the most obtuse bebop, to the most tripped-out drum n bass, to the simplest catchy pop tune. Our mission is to help you connect with the music YOU love.


We hope our vast growing audience across Australia and New Zealand are enjoying the experience.


Describe your Australian audience?


The Pandora audience!


Our audience is broad and represents people who just want great music to play while they are doing something else, such as driving, working, eating etc.


We have a strong band of audience in the 18-44 demographics, and a strongly growing audience in the 55+ age category. We are essentially a music service for music lovers of every generation. The Pandora audience love music and the emotions it produces but don't have the time to build extensive playlists, or get overwhelmed by the choice of music in their collection.  


What benefits does Pandora offer advertisers? 


The real magic of Pandora is the combination of personalisation and discovery. Once our listeners realise that we play the music they love, and introduce them to music they didn’t know of, they almost feel compelled to spread the word. This is what delivers the Pandora experience and drives our user growth.


Mobile monetisation has not followed the steep curve of mobile usage. We believe the antidote to this will be in the combination of the right ad units, particularly audio and targeting, which really take advantage of the device and our understanding of the individual who owns it. Personalised free radio and mobile devices have formed the perfect fit, driving mobile usage of Pandora to around 70% of the base.


How are advertisers and media buyers responding to your market offer?


We have a growing sales team of 11 rather brilliant people across Australia and New Zealand and this number will double as we expand our reach locally.  To this end we have spent considerable time speaking with agencies and educating them on our position in market and our unique advertising offering.


One of the questions we get is who should buy Pandora?  Does it sit in the digital team, radio team or mobile team?  The answer of course is all of these departments...

  • For traditional radio teams, Pandora amplifies your radio assets by adding in accurate targeting, reporting and clickable banners.
  • For digital teams, Pandora amplifies your digital assets by adding in audio to create cut through and brings your key advertiser messages to life.
  • For mobile teams, Pandora amplifies your mobile experience by offering a 100% logged in user base.

Media in Focus - Pandora Internet RadioPandora by its very nature is targeted in its approach, using its ever growing bank of data in the Music Genome Project to provide specifically curated playlists for all tastes and occasions. This data directly benefits our advertisers, connecting their brands with their specific audiences each and every time, an opportunity and approach we have seen positively adopted in the ANZ market.



What are Pandora's forward plans?

Pandora ANZ continues to focus on evolving our brand and integration partnerships (auto & CE) to grow our local footprint and continue to constantly deliver music to music lovers anytime, anywhere, across even more devices.


What are the biggest challenges facing the media and advertising markets?


Generating strong data, establishing integrated partnerships and generating & delivering relevant content are key to improving the platform and establishing a cohesive, dynamic communication environment.


Let’s take a look at this in three parts:

  • Measurement – All parties are looking for clear metrics that will demonstrate the value of advertising through the mobile market. A standardised measurement tool needs to be developed and recognised across the board that measures more than website visits. Ad buyers need clarity around real ROI – as do sellers who want to be able to demonstrate this to their client base and prospects.
  • Partnership - Companies need to better align with their partners if they are to make an impact on consumers and businesses through mobile advertising. Industry support across buyers, sellers, planners all the way through to agencies needs to be balanced in order to improve the productivity, creativity and effectiveness of advertising in this sector.
  • Relevance - Finally, it’s all about relevancy, for both the listener and brand. One key benefit that the mobile advertising market has over traditional advertising is that we aren’t there to ‘disrupt’ experiences, forcing people into viewing or hearing a stream of seamlessly ‘irrelevant-to-me’ ads whilst they wait for the show to resume. As an industry, we have the advantage to make it personal for both the brand and the listener. Pandora’s ad model is based on complementing the listener’s experience. It’s non-evasive – with a cap on how many ads are played consecutively and in an hour

What is your opinion on our current general media landscape – what is the State of the Media?


The environment in which audiences are participating and the format they are looking for information in has shifted significantly in recent years. ANZ audiences are no longer in front of the TV screen, or taking in traditional advertising in print and mags, rather they are on the move, seeking out information from smartphone and tablet devices and demanding innovations in these products at a rate of knots.


It is now the industry's responsibility to evolve accordingly, and continue innovating as the demand for relevance and accuracy in the information being delivered is expected like never before.


The ad dollar is quickly moving from traditional media outlets to a plethora of connected device players that are feeding the appetite of our content hungry consumers. 


To this end Pandora Internet Radio is perfectly placed as a music streaming service that has device ubiquity at the heart of its advertising strategy.

Connect With & Contact Pandora's Australian teamMedia in Focus - Pandora Internet Radio

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