Pandora begins offering in-car audio advertising

New offering sees start of audio advertisements for the Internet radio streaming company's customers using its in-car applications, and is supported by BP, Ford Motor Company, Taco Bell and State farm

US-based Internet radio streaming company, Pandora, has begun rolling out advertising solutions across its in-car offering this month.

Several notable brands including BP, Ford Motor Company, Taco Bell and State Farm have signed up to the new offering, which Pandora claims will give them a more targeted opportunity to connect with audiences.

Advertisers can choose from 15 and 30-second audio spots, which will run across all 130 vehicle models with a native Pandora integration, along with 270 aftermarket devices featuring its service pre-installed.

In a potential big to avoid user backlash, the company said it will initially deliver fewer audio ads to in-car listeners than on any other Pandora platform. Those with a Pandora One premium account, however, will continue to access an ad-free service.

Pandora Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Simon Fleming-Wood, pointed out nearly half of all radio listening takes place in the car. “We knew early on that to redefine radio, we would need to seamlessly deliver Pandora through in-dash entertainment systems,” he said.

“We are now seizing the opportunity to connect advertisers with a more targeted audience than traditional radio can provide.”

Pandora claims to have an 8.6 per cent share of the total US radio listening audience, or 76.2 million active monthly listeners, and is available in nine of the 10 top-selling passenger vehicles today. More than 4 million unique users have activated Pandora through a native integration in vehicles, it stated.

Ford Motor Company digital marketing manager, Erica Bigley, said the new advertising offering will allow it to reach highly engaged customers in an environment “where they are most likely to enjoy radio and is incredibly exciting for our business”.

According to Taco Bell CMO, Chris Brandt, the fast food chain’s fans are passionate about music, making Pandora a good advertising option.

“We want to continue to share moments of music exploration and discovery with them,” he said in a statement. “We’ve already been able to reach fans by Pandora via their mobile devices, and now, the latest in-car platform will allow us to reach them in their car during mealtime moments when our message is most relevant.”

The decision to launch the new in-car ad offering comes as a recent article in the <i>Sydney Morning Herald</i>reported Pandora’s efforts to data-mine an individual listener’s music preferences in order to better targeted advertising to them.

As quoted in the article, Pandora chief scientist, Eric Bieschke, claimed it was “becoming quite apparent to us that the world of playing the perfect music to people and the world of playing perfect advertising to them are strikingly similar”.

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