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March 5, 2013

Pandora Partners With Strata, Mediaocean to Make Advertising Easier

Advertisers Can Now Compare Data Side-By-Side with Broadcast Radio Stations

Pandora is pitting itself against traditional broadcast radio stations to offer advertisers better access to the market’s $14 billion in yearly advertising dollars.

The music-streaming service’s audience data will now appear in popular media buying platforms — Strata Marketing and Mediaocean — in a move to enable radio advertisers to compare that data side-by-side with broadcast radio stations across the country.

It is also a bid to boost Pandora ad sales through ease of use. Prior to the integrations, radio buyers using Strata or Mediaocean systems had to manually research Pandora audience ratings. Now, however, advertisers can easily evaluate Pandora’s audience size as well as its national and local audience ratings “to make informed decisions about their media mix,” according to a company press release.

“It’s great to see Strata and Mediaocean embrace innovation and respond to marketplace demand,” said Pandora chief revenue officer John Trimble. “With consumers shifting from broadcast to Internet radio, it’s important to have the industry adopt technology to help advertisers make smarter planning and buying decisions. The integrations will help advertisers understand the power of Internet radio and make the smartest buying decision at both the national and local levels.”

Strata’s integration was released in January and all its agencies now have access to Pandora audience data. Mediaocean, formed last year through a merger of Mediabank and Donovan, is currently in beta release. Rollout to Mediabank systems is set for mid-March and Donovan systems by the end of April.

Pandora said it had an eight percent share of the total U.S. listening audience in January, up nearly three percent from the 5.55 percent it had in the same period the previous year. Active listeners sat at 65.6 million, skyrocketing 38 percent from 47.6 million the prior year. Listener hours added up to 1.39 billion, a 47 percent rise from 952 million.

“Mediaocean’s clients — the major holding companies and independents in North American and Europe who use our systems to manage over $100 billion in media spend a year — have long expressed a desire to spend far more heavily in digital radio generally, and Pandora specifically,” said CEO Bill Wise.

“We approached Pandora last year with a new way to let that agency demand flow to Pandora inventory, and we’re glad to see that approach adopted industry-wide.”

Strata president and CEO John Shelton said adding Pandora to its cache of media options for more than 1,000 Strata agencies “allows our clients to access substantial listener audiences like never before.”