Pandora Partners With Local Media Companies to Expand Mobile Reach

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PandoraPersonalized radio provider Pandora has extended its local sales reach in a mobile reseller agreement that allows media outlets to package Pandora’s inventory with its own to reach local consumers.

The announcement comes as the online streaming music service continues to broaden its marketing efforts, hoping to expand its reach to hyperlocal markets. More than 800 local advertising campaigns are a result of this initiative, representing a 100 percent increase from two months ago.

Some of the media companies already to sign on to Pandora’s Local Reseller Program, according to a company press release, include The Miami Herald, The Salt Lake Tribune, The Tacoma News Tribune, The Ventura County Star and U-T San Diego.

“Consumers are increasingly mobile, and advertisers want to be where their consumers are,” said John Trimble, Pandora’s chief revenue officer, in a press release. “We have a clear advantage, both in our scale of more than 100 million people accessing Pandora on mobile, and our unique ability to help advertisers reach targeted audiences through both visual and audio ad formats.”

Pandora has emerged as a player in mobile advertising, leveraging the registration information of its users to offer merchants local, targeted advertisements. Pandora has reported $100 million plus in mobile ad revenue, only trailing Google’s $750 million. And with the resources of established local sales representatives at their disposal, Pandora will avoid the expense of hiring its own boots on the ground in smaller-to-medium-sized cities across the country as the company continues to struggle toward profitability.

John Hilton, executive director of sales strategy, communication and development for Pandora, told Street Fight that the company’s local sales strategy follows the tendencies of its user base. Approximately 70 percent of Pandora’s 150 million registered users, Hilton said, access the service’s mobile app.

“[Mobile advertising] is definitely a significant part of our strategy, a significant part of our DNA,” Hilton said. “So there’s going to be a lot of emphasis and focus on the mobile advertising dollar for us. In terms of revenue generation, we’ve done a significant job, and that’s just going to go up and to the right.”

For local media companies, the reseller program offers an alternative source of revenue in a space — mobile — that many news organizations have been slow to recognize, let alone monetize. These media outlets can package their own advertising products with Pandora’s inventory to target consumers.

“Partnering with Pandora gives us a competitive edge in growing our digital business, which opens up new revenue opportunities,” said Christian Hendricks, vice president of interactive media for the McClatchy Company, the third-largest U.S. newspaper company that owns The Miami Herald and The News Tribune, in the release. “We’re excited to complement our ad solutions with their innovative audio ad formats, which are particularly impactful in reaching mobile consumers.”

Patrick Duprey is an intern at Street Fight.