Pandora has updated its services once again, and this time, it’s to include fewer ads. The music-streaming service created a new ad format for select brands called Sponsored Listening. Available for all advertisers and Pandora’s 80 million listeners, the addition prompts people who use the streaming service to watch a short video or click on a media advertisement to unlock one hour of ad-free listening.
Each of the video ads is at least 15 seconds, with some running up to two-and-a-half minutes long. Sponsored Listening is only available on mobile devices, which is how 80% of Pandora’s users listen to music.
These tuned-in listeners are helping make Pandora money in a big way. The new pilot advertisements boosted purchase intent by 30% and brand awareness by 12%. The Oakland, California company reported its second quarter earnings last week, bringing in $230.9 million in ad revenue, a 30% year-over-year jump.
This may be the new way of the land, as brands and advertisers continuously update formats based on the evolving media and audience expectations. Listeners may now actually enjoy radio ads with Pavlovian anticipation of the hour’s worth of ad-free music to come. Two minutes about deodorant? Fine, I’ll take it, for the sake of what it’s all about: the music.