Play Me: Advertise with Pandora

It used to be you “turned the dial” to your favorite radio station to listen to the latest pop tunes. Now you subscribe online to a music streaming service like Pandora. You pick from hundreds of stations and find one that plays your kind of music. That represents an opportunity for small businesses. When you advertise with Pandora, you can reach a focused market. Learn more about advertising on music streaming services like Pandora.

Play Me: Advertise with Pandora


Streaming music services offer a number of advantages to small businesses that want to target specific markets. Here are some of these:

  • Significant audience size – Pandora reports that a quarter of the U.S. population enjoys its free service. That’s 88 million active users per month. It can deliver significant reach to advertisers.
  • Access to big data – Streaming services collect data each time subscribers log in. Pandora collects over one billion data points daily. To date, they have over 1,300 audience segments identified. Armed with this information, your message can reach the right audience at the right time. You’ll spend your marketing dollars more efficiently.
  • Capitalizes on shift to mobile – According to Smart Insights, the number of mobile users has overtaken desktop users. Pandora reports they are the #1 destination in time spent on mobile. Since your customers are likely part of this trend, your ads appear in the places where they hang out.
  • Number of ad options – Pandora offers a number of ad options including audio, display, and video. There’s also an opportunity to sponsor existing stations or to brand your own station. That flexibility makes it easier to fold this into your existing marketing plan.

Issues to Consider

While streaming services hold potential for small business advertisers, you may want to consider these issues:

  • Option to opt out – Users can subscribe for free, but many streaming services offer a premium option. That’s when subscribers opt in to a monthly payment and enjoy ad-free content. However, this accounted for only 30 percent of Pandora users in 2015. That still leaves a significant mass of potential customers.
  • Monitor cost – The cost for advertising on streaming services typically depends on the type and placement. WebpageFX reports that the cost for visual ads on Pandora averages $5-7 per thousand people who are shown your ad. Audio ads range from $8-12 and video ads from $15-25. Like search engine advertising, the cost is based on competitive bidding. It is important to monitor your results so you can tweak placement as needed.
  • Distracted listeners – It’s not uncommon for music service subscribers to multitask while listening. They might be exercising, driving, working or preparing dinner. That means you may not have their full attention when your ad plays. Pandora addresses that by playing ads during times when they have the listeners’ attention—like when they elect to skip a song. And they only play one ad at a time. That means your ads get exclusive play without the clutter of other ads.

Streaming music services offer small businesses an opportunity to target specific markets with their message. Before tuning-in, learn more about what it offers and what issues to watch for when adding this to your marketing plans.

Get TheWire Delivered to Your Inbox

The trends, insights, and solutions you need to grow your business.

By signing up, you’re subscribing to our monthly email newsletter, The Wire. You may unsubscribe at any time.
Your information stays safe with us. Learn more about our privacy policy.