Online radio advertising

Graham Davis's picture
Instructor
2/26/2014

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Do you use Spotify? How about Pandora? 

The answer's probably yes... I think. I know I couldn't get by without Spotify.

More and more, online advertisers are looking at Spotify and Pandora -- often times in lieu of radio ads. In Detroit, Pandora would be one of the top five radio stations if it was on the air, and it's continuing to grow.

Pandora is even getting into political advertising, by trying to pinpoint voter preferences to make it easier for campaigns to serve ads.

What do you think the advantages and disadvantages would be of Spotify and Pandora advertising? When would you think these would work best for a client? When wouldn't they be good options?

Comments & Feedback

Student

For anyone who buys ad space on either of these internet radio platforms you can go ahead right now and chalk it up as a win! Although, as a listener I'm not really fond of hearing all the ad's, sometimes I'm so submerged into listetining that I don't really pay attention to them. So as a buyer maybe that could be a bad thing? But I only see positive coming here, for the ad buyers and the internet radio companies. The ad's get out there to reach specified areas/audiences,and for people who really can't stand them would upgrade to a premium package so they don't have to hear the ad's. It's really a win any way you look at it.

Student

An advantage of advertising through Pandora is based off of the information given to create an account, adveritsiers have accurate information to reach certain demographics. Since I am a 22 year old female, advertisers can tailor specific ads to broadcast to me. A disadvantage of these advertisements is that a lot of these ads are annoying. Half of the time I tune out the advertisements. I just want to listen to my music. When I do actually listen to them, it's unfortunate that the advertisement is not promoting something local. These ads would defiitinely have an impact if it hit my demographic and advertisers knew what foundations I supported, etc. 

Student

I don't like the ads on Pandora. I know why it's necessary but I think the allure about Pandora was to get more ad free music. I'm not bothered currently by the way the ads are on Pandora, they only come in between songs every so often. What worries me about political ads is during intense campaign years the amount of ads are intense, I don't know if they actually have an effect on the way I vote because you see one ad saying one party is wrong and another with the opposing argument. It's just irritating. I feel like if Pandora does chase this idea and execute it, it may prove terrible for them. People will more than likely opt out for ad free Pandora. 

Student
One of the advantages of course is reach, particularly with that key 18-20 something demographic who I would have to imagine are mostly using these types of services right now. A disadvantage that comes to mind is the limited scope of advertising on these services. I think I hear some some regional advertising on Spotify but nothing extremely localized. That is what traditional radio is still good at. It provides a good outlet for smaller, more localized advertising and is presumably less expensive than TV. So not only does online compete with the little guys, it also doesn't give consumers the localized info they may desire. This is analogous to satellite radio. While I subscribe to satellite and enjoy it, I still have to seek other sources for quick, local news blurbs, etc. Otherwise, I don't mind not having advertising at all. So far when it comes to online radio, it doesn't seem worth it to pay for premium; I'm not annoyed with the advertising. I think this is because I listen to it at work and it just kind of blends into the background so is less noticeable. With satellite, I'm driving and it's more front-and-center so I desire more constant programming.
Student

I do not use Sptoify but I found with internet seraching that their ads are similar to Pandoras whihc I use on a regular basis. I think that both forms of internet radio gain a lot of attention for their viewers and I think it woul be very benefical for them to advertise to increase business sales and stock.

Student

I'm not nearly as familiar with spotify as I am with Pandora so my comment is slightly biased.  Pandora is part of my daily routine. I listen to it everyday walking too and from class, and we all know that can often be 30 minutes each way.  I know everyone complains about the advertisements but frankly, I would rather listen to 15 second commercials than pay $1.99 for every song I want to download.  Also, the fact that people pick their radio stations according to their taste is a huge advantage because it gives advertisers an opportunity to reach a very specific target market. While not everything could or should be advertised over this sort of radio certain things would do well like clothing and concert tickets. 

Student

I have neither used Spotify nor have I ever heard of Pandora. I guess since I am a really fussy consumer if it comes to music. Nothing is worse that having something interrupting your music moment with annoying ads - funny enough that we talked about traditional marketing which is also referred to as interruption marketing. As the name already indicates, I see many people considereing music as ultimate weapon if they want to escape life. However, I think that Spotify is doing a good job combining a great product which has a well balanced amount of advertising. The listener has the chance to get rid of ads anytime by paying a fair price for a subscription. After listening to Pandora for 20 min. I have to say that I haven't even noticed much advertising. I could easily listen 3-4 songs in a row without any interruption. I think both services have to be very careful in placing their ads since music lovers can easily choose other channels to listen to music. I would suggest a fair, transparent solution such as a minimum song number without any ads. Furthermore, it would be smart to place ads where listeners are not listening to music at a certain point (adjusting settings, pause the stream etc.) so the listener will not link ads to the actual music experience. 

Student

Obviously Pandora and Spotify need their radio ads to generate revenue but I think there is a very fine line that if crossed will only drive listeners away. Pandora being my go to seems to have recently increased there amount of ads. I would listen to it while working out and the amount of ads were enough to drive me crazy. I thought to myself that maybe they had increased their ads to drive consumers to pay for the ad free version. This probably works pretty often but I was quite annoyed by it. I ended up looking for a new outlet for music and now use Iheart Radio. Way less ads and I like it much more. Theres no way to get around ads when listening to free music but companies need to be careful they are doing it the right way and not pushing their listeners to one of their competetors.

On the more positive side I also noticed that the pandora ads were becoming much more targeted. I heard plenty of local products and services being advertised which were the ones I happened to tune into more. I think this strategy is definitely effective.

Student

I've never used Spotify before, but when I don't have a specific song in mind, am sick of my itunes, or want some consistent background music Pandora is my go to solution. I know a lot of people hate the ads on Pandora but you really can't get a free service on the internet without them anymore. Youtube has an add run before almost every video and popup ads during videos. Almost every website has ads along the sidebar, even twitter has promotional tweet ads every once in a while. That being said, I think it's smart for companies to advertise on Spotify and Pandora over radio stations. The radio is not listened to very often anymore, especially in cars. Most people hook up their Ipod or play cds when they're driving. With Pandora you can't avoid the ads unless you pay a fee so there's a much larger chance they're heard, although getting listeners to actually pay attention to them is a whole other issue.

Student

This summer, I worked at Young and Rubicam, a full service advertising agency in New York City. We worked with the Spotify ad sales team to generate the best commercial for our target audience which was men and women from 30-55. A lot goes into producing an ad for radio. They do research on what type of people listen to specific music, so they can accurately determine (or close to) the best possible Spotify playlists to air the advertisement on. I was shocked during their presentation to see some great examples of how they were to tailor our needs to the right market.

From this experience, I think that ads on Spotify and Pandora are a great way to reach a target consumer. You can tell with most of the music that you listen to, that the commercials are directed toward you because of the music that you chose to play. For example, if you consistenly listen to house music, Spotify will likely think that you are a male or female in the age ranges of 18-30. 

For other playlists, like artists that play to a broad audience, it can get tricky. Take The Goo Goo Dolls for example. They are one of my favorite bands of all time, but they are also one of my dads favorites as well. This can be a challenge for some businesses, but Spotify does a good job of determining who they are trying to speak to.

Student

I think the advantage of Pandora and Spotify advertisments lies in the money they create. Without this revenue, we wouldn't be able to enjoy a large, easily navigable and free music library. I listen to Spotify all of the time, and I absolutely depise the ads. The voice actors are incerdibly invasive and annoying (this ensures i will never plan on buying their products), but I accept these inconveniences in exchange for free music. For now, I think the ads are just fine. However, if the ads become increasing frequent, Spotify and Pandora can say goodbye to my constant traffic.

Student

As an avid Spotify listener I am very aware of the advertisments that appear every so often. I feel that it is an advantage for advertisers to place their ads on Spotify or Pandora. Unlike a commericial on television, the listener will continue to listen to the message because they were already listening to a song. I always listen to the ads that appear on Spotify. The only disadvantage for advertisers would be that it is more difficult to pin point the demographic of their listeners in order to target their ads. I think it would work best for the client when their message is short and to the point. I believe that it wouldn't work as well if the message is lengthy because most people are listening to Spotify and Pandora for the sole purpose of listening to music.

Student

I use Pandora on a daily basis. I think there are some definite advantages to using Pandora, Spotify and other online radio sites. These online radio stations have huge reach into a demogaphic (college men and women) who are incredibly hard to reach. Almost anyone is capable of using these stations. Users simply register themselves, filling out very useful information (gender, age, location) without any hesitation. Advertiers can pin point ages, genders and regional locations with such ease and then can use specific musice choices to find the perfect niche to advertise to. Its a perfect scenario for them. They can basically pick any demographic almost perfectly and have some guaranteed reach. Ads cannot be skipped and are played pretty frequently. Its also shown that tese stations are used for extended periods of time, sometimes even longer than what someone will watch TV for. Its a genius and far less expensive way to get to a hard to reach market.

Student

I listen to both Spotify and Pandora and thought they already did advertising.  Every 5-10 songs a comerical will play either reccomending music (mostly on Spotify) or an actual ad.  There are pros and cons to each side.  Pros for the companies because if you do not have Spotify premium you have no choice but to listen to the ad.  This is good for hte company that you are listening, but bad for the audience because there music listening is being disrupted.

Student

There wold definitely be many advantages to Spotify and Pandora advertising. I personally use Spotify all the time so when I hear commercials I actually listen because I am already listening to my music as is. Its a great way to get people to listen to your advertisements and get their attention. I think its neat when these stations use the commercials to be ones directed to the type of user based off their playlist. I think youtube kind of does that because we get commercials that they feel relate to you more when my friend next to me has completely different commercials. Music can really describe a persons personality and what they have interest in. It’s also important these advertisers don’t do it to much where its only one type of advertisements for that one listener, having a verity is very important to capture the audiences full attention. 

Student

I listen to Pandora all of the time. Advertising with Pandora comes with a lot of advantages. One of which being that when an ad comes up, the user cannot skip it and is forced to listen to it. Although an advantage, this also comes as a disadvantage as well. Many users are annoyed with the ads that come on while listening to the music of their choice and get annoyed. Pandora even has an option to pay a dollar to get an ad free service. Some users may go to this extent in order to avoid these ads. In terms of exposure, Pandora ads are great and definitely reach all of it's listeners. Having ads that are more targeted to users would be a huge help with the Pandora ad industry. If someone were to be listening to a certain type of music, and an ad proceeded that matched their personality, ads would be way more effective. 

Student

I listen to Pandora while working, cleaning my room, commuting in bus or walking. So for me advertising on Pandora or Spotify is disadvantageous because even though I cannot fast forward it, I do not focus on the ads. It just goes on in the background. While some might think that as one cannot skip the advertisement, it is advantageous but I don't think so. It can work best for a client if the person is actually listening to the ad or if there is something in the ad that catches his/her attention. So in order to use this as an advantage, the content and creativity of the advertisement should be of high quality.

Student

There are many advantages to using Spotify and Pandora for advertising. I know sometimes when an advertisement comes on for Pandora or Spotify you are forced to listened to it because you are studying and just have nothing better to do. But sometimes an advertisers doesn't take into consideration that people listen to Spotify or Pandora for recreational purposes such as cleaning their room or for a get together which in this case the targeted audience would not be listening to the message they are trying to send. Also, some people find it invasive that commercials know exactly what they want and where they shop and I think they may think it is even more invasive if they know which political party they want to vote for. I do think using these tools can be great but there is a line that can be crossed on some level with how they use them to their advatange. 

Student

 

            I think that there would be many advantages to Spotify and Pandora advertising. I know from personal experience that whenever I hear a commercial on either station I usually listen, just because I was already listening closely to the music. I think this is an easy way to capture an audience and get their attention. I think it is really effective for advertisers to be able to reach their target audience based on the Pandora station or Spotify playlist the consumer is using. What music a person listens to can say a lot about them, so I can see this really working towards advertisers advantage. While it is a great way to get the attention of the target market, sometimes the advertisements can be a tad repetitive and become annoying and this is where it can become a disadvantage. When I listen to Pandora, I notice that the same three advertisements come on over and over and over again, and it starts to really annoy me. I think that advertisers can start diversifying their messages in order to capture the attention of their audience without overdoing it. 

 

Student

I think it would be awesome if companies could pinpint preferences by the playlists that people had. Music preference says a lot about a person and I think this could be very valuable in creating segments for companies to deliver messages to via spotify or pandora. This would work best for clients that could relate their product or service to music or an activity or product done or consumed while listening to music. People don't like being interrupted, especially for something completely unrelated. It could be good for headphones producers, exercise classes/ equipment, or car manufacturers. 

Student

I listen to Pandora and I am not a fan of their advertisements but they work well for advertisers because they can reach their target audience. The advantages are that the ads could be for things that the audience is interested in. The disadvantages are that the ads can get annoying to see and the only way to get rid of them is if you buy Pandora One. Advertising on Spotify or Pandora would help the clients because the audience would actually get to see the ads and not just listen to them over the radio. For political advertisements, they would work best during government campaigns. Advertising on these radio stations would not work when people are driving to work and coming home from work because they would be listening to the radio in the car. Even if they were listening to Pandora or Spotify while in the car, they would not be able to see the ads because they would be driving.

Student

I think Spotify and Pandora advertising would be best to use when the target audience are world wide.  Unlike traditional radio that covers a limited area, these satelite radio could be listened by people anywhere and anytime.  This allows broader exposure on the ads.  Moreover, in the future I see Spotify and Pandora to keep gaining popularity because now people can access them through their smart phones.  This means when driving, people have the chance to choose Spotify and Pandora over traditional radio as it allows them to select their own specific genre, artists, or songs.  People who are satisfied are happy people and they would be less likely bothered by a short advertisement in between.  On the opposite site, this means internet advertising would not be a really good options if your message is targeted for people at a specific location only.

Student

I am a huge fan of Pandora however I think Spotify is a little over rated. Regardless, both of these online applications are great for advertisers! They can target Ad's to certain demographics based on music taste, which may even determine the listener’s age, gender, interests etc. I think this is the greatest benefit of advertising through Pandora and Spotify. The only negative I can think of is that listeners may become upset with repetitive or irrelevant ads. 

 

Student

I have always been a fan of Pandora and have recently started using Spotify as well. Sometimes the advertisements can be a bit annoying, but since it  is impossible to skip ads, you are forced to listen to them. Often times, the advertisements are targeted to a certain area. Lately, I've been hearing a lot of ads for car dealerships that are only a couple miles away. Advertisements highlighting bar specials have also been popping up quite a bit. I think they are a strong source for advertisers, and for free internet radio, the advertisements are not too difficult to listen to. 

 

Student

I use both Spotify and Pandora frequently, though, it depends on the occasion and whether I'm listening from my laptop or phone for which one I use. An advantage of advertisements on online radio stations is that they're able to reach younger generations who have tuned out of the normal radio. Personally, I use the channels the most while walking to and from class, working/studying, and getting ready "for a night out." I assume this is the case for other college students, and younger work professionals. A disadvantage is that they tend to become repetitive and plain-out annoying. If I'm wearing headphones I usually take them out until the ad is over. If someone gets so sick of the ads, there is always the option to pay for a subscription as well. 

I think the advertisements would work best if they were somehow targeted more to our search history/interests, rather than just our location. When it comes to political ads, there might be a backlash. All ads become annoying at some point; it doesn't matter if you support the issue/politician or not, you'd rather be listening to your music. If an ad played as soon as I opened the app/web page instead of 4 songs in (sometimes right after the first song played,) I would be happier. Overall, I'm not sure if they're as effective as the advertisers expect.

 

Student

I'm not a huge internet radio fan, but I am a frequent user of Pandora when I'm studying! I think there are many advantages when it comes to internet radio. Although the ads can be a little tedious and annoying - you're forced to listen! I've also noticed that the ads that pop up when I'm listening are extremely targeted. There will be an advertisement to a salon that's just a few streets away from my house. I find myself always wondering how they knew that - it's pretty specific and fascinating! As far as disadvantages go, I think most people find them annoying and too frequent - which may cause them to stop using the service. 

Student

I have never use spotify before so I'm not really sure how that station works, but I am a huge pandora listener. I think that the advantages of advertising on Pandora, which I notice they are doing a lot more now, is getting more product awareness out there, targeting a younger generation, and promoting new products that I would've never heard about if it wasn't played between what I'm listening to. The disadvantages is that it does get pretty annoying when I do just want to listen to music and I'm getting bombarded with commercials and advertisments that I keep hearing over and over. I think these ads would work best for a client just to promote their company to a wide range of people and to get the word out about what they're advertising. The only thing that would bother me about these ads is I might not relate to them at all, making them annoying and dislike the company/ads even more but it really depends on what the company is advertising.

Student

I personally use both Pandora and Spotify. I love listening to music, but sometimes the ads get annoying so I opt to use 8tracks, which doesn’t have any ads. But I think the ads are beneficial for the companies and a great way to advertise. Using Pandora and Spotify to advertise kind of forces people to listen to the commercial before they can move onto the next song. This is a great way to advertise as long as the commercials are aimed towards the right target market. For political commercials I personally think they might be annoying for many.

Student

Advantages to spotify and pandora advertising would be that they could use our devices' (phone or computer) cookies to tailor ads to our personality or browsing history. So we would only really hear ads about what we are interested in. One disadvantage would be that if you were ever to play music for somebody, you would have to be worried about what commercials they might play. I think these would would work best for a client when they are listening in the car. Times I wouldn't want to hear ads would be when I'm at home or at the library doing homework.

Student

I think it can reverse advertising efforts if listeners are exposed to ads that do not appeal to them specifically. I know in my experience, if I am not interested in what the ad has to say I am left frustrated and annoyed. This can completely turn a potential consumer off to a product or brand. Creating a bad image of the brand in a consumers mind not only effects their purchasing behavior with that brand, but it can also cause them to speak poorly of the brand to others. To prevent this, the client must conduct research to find out where and when to advertise in order to reach listeners who will respond positively to their ads. Spotify and Pandora could also practice inbound marketing to chose which ads best fit listeners based on geographics and demographics. 

Student

I find myself never listening to Pandora or Spotify because I am too afraid to use my data on my phone (hah). I also realized how much I hated the commercials while using Pandora, and never used them again. As for these two music apps in relation to politics, I think they could correspond, but I also think they could be fairly annoying. The types of commercials that I normally saw, never had anything to do with political candidates, and their advertisements. As an advantage, I do think that if someone were to be watching and paying full attention to the commercials, they could get a better idea of that candidates side they are fighting for. I could get by without using either Spotify or Pandora, for sure. I use my iPhone more than anything, which carries all the music, while being interupted... NEVER!

 

Student

An advantage of advertising on Spotify and Pandora is that people are starting use listen to these online radios more than traditional radios. Online radios make listening to music more accessible than traditional radios. Music listeners also get to pick the type of station that fits their favorite genre or artist. A disadvantage of advertising on these online radios is that people often get annoyed by the commercials. There also aren’t as many commercials as traditional radio. Advertising on online radios would be good for a client who is trying to reach a lot of people and needs to advertise to particular groups of people. It wouldn’t be good for companies who don’t have as much money to advertise since there aren’t a lot of advertising space.

 

Student

I love pandora. Its what I listening to when I workout and when I get ready for class/work in the morning. One thing I could easily go without is the ads they put on in between my songs. Its very annoying to me but I guess coming from a companies standpoint it would be most beneficial because things like Pandora are where all the customers are.

Student

Pandora and Spotify have become go to's for anyone listening to music.  Companies, I believe, would be wise to advertise on these two platforms.  

I do want to think about this more politically.  Young voters are an important demographic, and young voters listen to Pandora and Spotify.  I think it would be wise for both parties in the November 2014 elections to try using Pandora and Spotify for ads.  

I do wonder about the backlash, though.  Politicians would be interrupting your music, and that might annoy voters, turning them away from a candidate.  However, using these platforms would be a unique and new way to reach the public.  

I wonder if we can compare Pandora ads to ads on YouTube.  Most people I know choose not to watch the YouTube ads or they just skip them after five seconds.  I don't know how effective YouTube ads are.  Pandora and Spotify ads might also be simply uneffective.

Student

I use Pandora a lot, several times a day. Just like everyone else, I do think the commercials are annoying, especially the ones that are 30 seconds long. However, I do think it is pretty good advertising. It kind of forces you to listen to them because you never know when they are going to pop up. Sometimes they’re even catchy, like the McDonalds ones that have a jingle, I always tend to remember those. I honestly don’t think they are never not good options. Yes, they do get annoying but as users of Pandora we know they are short and we will be listening to music shortly after, so it’s no big deal.

Student

I am a big fan of Pandora and primarily listen to music through Pandora.  Without knowing the costs associated with advertising on Pandora compared to traditional radio I believe that Pandora gives business owners a better platform to advertise than traditional radio.  There are two main advantages I see with Pandora.  The first is their ability to develop more accurate algorithms in order for businesses to better target their selected market.  This is a crucial component of any successful marketing campaign.  The second advantage is that unlike radio commercials users listening to Pandora can’t switch channels to skip the ad.  This forces users to listen to what the company is advertising rather than simply switching to a different radio station whenever commercials come on.  

Graham Davis's picture
Instructor
2/26/2014