Pandora Launches Small Business Initiative

Internet radio company Pandora partners with advertising technology company AdReady to reach out to cost-conscious businesses looking to move their marketing online.

Hoping to build on its strategy of capitalizing on revenue growth opportunities by expanding into new markets, Pandora, the personalized Internet radio service, announced a new initiative aimed at small and midsize businesses offering them the advertising tools larger corporations currently have access to. The company said SMBs would have ready access to Pandora's audience through a dedicated sales team and an ad platform that automates ad creation and serving. Pandora's SMB ad sales team is based at Pandora's Oakland, Calif, headquarters under the direction of vice president of performance ad sales Brian Mikalis.

John Trimble, chief revenue officer for Pandora, said as the company grows its user base, it makes sense to identify ways to scale the business and provide access for every size advertiser, from the biggest brands to the "specialty and neighborhood shops" that want to get their marketing messages out to their best prospects. "Now we are able to offer broader, multiplatform marketing solutions with deep targeting and campaign optimization to businesses that previously didn't have an affordable advertising solution," he said.

By partnering with AdReady, a technology company that helps make display advertising accessible to advertisers of any size, Trimbe said Pandora's new sales team will be able to develop creative assets, traffic and manage campaigns for clients that it previously could not cost-effectively service. He said as a result of this SMB initiative, marketers of all sizes such as bands, summer festivals and local colleges would be able to leverage the effectiveness and reach of targeted display ad campaigns across Pandora's audience.

"In this current climate of immediate accessibility, the team at Pandora steps it up and delivers what you want, when you need it," said Kathleen Pittman, president of Green Bottle Media, a full-service media planning and buying service. "With virtually no turn-around time at all, the folks at Pandora were able to present multiple, well-thought-out solutions for a multimarket, regional client -- a popular chain of burrito eateries in Texas, implement the plan seamlessly, and report promptly back to us."

With 45 million U.S. listeners, 16 million of which use Pandora off the PC, Pandora is one of the world's largest Internet radio services. According to Pittman, the results of the campaign on Pandora generated more than three times the click through rate than any other online placement for Green Bottle Media's fourth quarter 2009 campaign for this client. "Pandora is transforming the way people access and listen to music. Advertisers that have usually been relegated to buying traditional advertising can now be a part of that revolution," said Aaron Finn, founder and chief strategy officer of AdReady.