Last week, Pandora launched analytics tools for advertisers to use on its audio platform. The move represents another step in the platform’s ascendancy to a major platform for advertisers.
It’s about time. Prior to this announcement, the streaming audio platform offered minimal online analytics to its advertisers, relying on offline impact and incremental visitation lift through third-party vendors such as Placed. Its new Insights Lab was created to “help advertisers navigate and measure the audio ecosystem and deliver the best audio campaigns that are hyper-personalized, at scale.”
Measurement, in general, continues to be a challenge in the audio space, giving marketers pause when considering it as part of their media mix. This solution only works on Pandora’s platform, but the industry is starting to see some work toward more global standards of measurement. That, along with the explosive growth of podcasting and mobile radio, seems to have allayed advertisers fears — at least for the time being.
Pandora’s Insight Lab includes:
- Data-backed insights to inform audio strategy
- Ecosystem that develops scaled first-party tools and products for advertisers to test
- Platform for bringing third-party research to market when tied to Pandora’s proprietary analysis and insights
But wait, there’s more. Also last week, Pandora announced that it will partner with SoundCloud to become its exclusive U.S. advertising and sales representation. The company says that the move creates the biggest digital audio advertising marketplace in the states and expands its total addressable audience to 100 million. The agreement will allow advertisers and brands to buy SoundCloud inventory directly through Pandora, starting in 2019.
What a year. Pandora seems to be on a roll this year, launching a programmatic marketplace in February, introducing new ad formats in August and now these announcements. Its growth has not gone unnoticed. Last week, satellite audio powerhouse Sirius XM said that it will acquire Pandora. When asked for a comment on the acquisition, a Pandora spokesperson said, “We’re focused on business as usual right now and the expected deal close is months away. We don’t have any other comments on the transaction beyond what we said during the announcement last week.”
Why you should you care. Fueled by the growth of podcasting, audio platforms have evolved as prime locations to find active and engaged customers. Additionally, with so many niche categories through which users engage, it’s sometimes easier and more effective to advertise there. And with the announcement of analytics and other measurement initiatives, many marketers are seriously considering adding audio to their media mixes.
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