Pandora Opens Box of Targeted Political Advertising

Targeting Congressional Districts With Audio Ad Breaks and Display Ads

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The latest catchy "Foster the People" tune may soon have a different introduction on Pandora: vote for this guy.

Tim Westergren
Tim Westergren

The streaming music service announced Friday that it's taking political advertisements on its website and mobile apps, joining Facebook and Twitter in the ranks of digital companies in the political ad business. The ads can be carefully targeted, the company said, even down to individual congressional districts. And Pandora, which already has audio ad breaks and display ads, promises a clean marketing environment, noting that only one audio ad is played for each commercial break.

Playing for targeted ad dollars that often go to local radio, the company pointed to Edison research that found Pandora having a bigger footprint that local radio stations in some markets.

"With the 2012 political campaign season in full swing, advertisers realize that personalized, internet radio is a powerful platform to reach a desired set of voters," Pandora chief revenue officer John Trimble said in a statement. "Pandora's new targeting features maximize effectiveness of ad spend that has historically been wasted reaching voters outside of election districts. Political, national and local advertisers all benefit from our scale, precision targeting and personalization to reach a passionate and engaged audience on Pandora."

The targeting will be done by user zip code information collected during the registration process.

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