The cards have been printed, the stationery has arrived, the team is now in place and the doors to the new office in The Generator in Auckland’s CBD have been opened. And to celebrate Pandora NZ's launch—and its first commercial partner, Sonos Wireless—it is offering a Sonos prize pack worth over $3,800 to one lucky StopPress reader.
To be in to win, readers need to download the Pandora app via the app store or Google Play and then email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the artist or song that you started your Pandora station with. Entries close April 1, 2014 (check out exactly what you could win and the rest of the fine print here).
Pandora, an ad-funded internet radio service led in this market by commercial director Melanie Reece and supported by account directors Steve Old and Rita Steel, is gaining traction in the New Zealand market after it sorted out its licensing issues and launched officially in New Zealand and Australia last year. Reece says a new user is registered to Pandora every thirty seconds in this market and the number of total users is closing in on 200,000 (in Pandora's just released audience figures for February 2014, it had 75.3 million active users, an increase of 11 percent from 67.7 million during the same time period last year, and it has a total of over 200 million account holders).
The Pandora advertising model comprises an amalgamation of short singular audio ads alongside online visuals displayed through the web and app interfaces. And in an effort to limit ad clutter and enhance recognition, the model also limits advertising to sixty seconds per hour, delivered across all three Pandora streaming platforms—web, mobile and tablet (there is also a subscription service called Pandora One for those who are opposed to ads playing but it makes up just two percent of the total subscribers).
With a recent IAB presentation showing rapid uptake of mobile consumption, and 80 percent of all new phones purchased in New Zealand now smartphones, Reece believes it’s a great time for advertisers to embrace mobile.
“With mobile internet reach forecast to surpass desktop reach during 2014, the gap between mobile monetisation has not followed the steep curve of mobile usage in this country,” she says. “This represents an exceptional opportunity for advertisers to connect with their consumers in new ways."
Reece says Pandora, which kicked off in 2000 and was one of the first online music streaming services, has the backing of a $6 billion dollar company and has the third highest mobile advertising revenue behind Facebook and YouTube (in August last year, it clocked in with US$160 million of ad revenue in that quarter).
"This, coupled with a product that is 70 percent mobile, means Pandora offers a direct pathway to consumers. Our experienced, award-winning sales team are already in market presenting our innovative and proven advertising campaigns to advertisers.”
Sonos Wireless is the first commercial partner for Pandora in this market, and Reece says it's a good fit because Kiwis continue to embrace digital delivery of their music. And she says there are more big brands to follow in the coming weeks.