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Pandora focuses on shorter ads and more personalisation

Tim Maytom

Music streaming service Pandora has announced three new features for advertisers, placing a focus on versatility, personalisation and short, impactful ad formats. Marketers will now be able to dynamically assemble different audio ads for different listeners, sequentially target ads so that they fit together as part of a larger strategy, and use ad formats ranging between four and 10 seconds.

"At Pandora, personalisation is built into our DNA, beginning with our algorith, The Music Genome Project," said a Pandora spokesperson in a statement on the new functionalities. "Over the past year, we've been deeply curious about how personalised audio strategies can advance advertiser goals and as a result, have  tested with over 20 select partners to understand effectiveness in this realm."

Pandora's testing found that, for example, short form audio ads ranging from four to 10 seconds could still play a crucial part in driving brand lift, foot traffic and conversions. Working with snack brand Lays, the firm found that 10 second spots drove 56 per cent higher return on ad spend than 30 seconds, and were especially useful in priming audience interest.

The format is designed to work in concert with longer ad spots. Testing with Esurance found that 10 second spots drove higher quote initiations, while 30 second ads drove more conversions. This combined approach works well together with Pandora's new sequential targeting, which enables brands to string together several ads and ensure that they reach consumers in the correct order, building a more powerful narrative across multiple ads. Tests of dynamic and sequential audio saw purchase intent up 125 per cent compared to standard creative, and aided recall up 13 per cent.

"We're purposefully releasing these three capabilities at the same time because we truly believe they can work together to bring about powerful results," said Pandora. "We're excited to lead the personalisation of audio conversation and help advance advertiser goals in the most optimal way possible."

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