Jennifer Lane

Pandora’s Proprietary Audience Segments

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 12:00pm

This article by guest contributor Jennifer Lane was first published in Audio4cast

With more than 200 million registered users, Pandora’s collection of user data is substantial. Now they are beginning to use that data to create marketable audience segments that advertisers can use to target their campaigns.

The first of these “proprietary audience segments” created by Pandora are Hispanic and Spanish speaking users of the service. To create these segments, Pandora cross referenced their registered users with zip codes that have a high population of Hispanic and Spanish speaking listeners, using publicly available census data. It’s still inference based targeting, meaning that the buyer has to agree to make assumptions about the consumer based on where they live, but it’s an improvement over cookie-based technology, which makes inference based assumptions as well – usually assuming that someone visiting a certain site matches a certain set of established criteria.

Critics will argue that users often give false registration data as well, and that is certainly a factor, but probably not a significant deterrent for buyers who are looking for any improved ways of reaching more of the people they want to reach, fewer of those they don’t.

Studies have shown that listeners are quite tolerant of targeted ads online, especially when they are targeted to offer products that the listener might find useful.

In fact, Pandora’s capable of slicing up their audience by market, zip code, age or gender, or the kind of music they listen to, and has been doing that for a long time. These new customer segments are available in media buying software that makes it very simple for agencies to identify, price and purchase. It’s a smart way to market their large audience to advertisers and showcase their targeting capabilities. This video features Heidi Browning, Pandora SVP of strategic solutions, discussing the streaming service’s targeting capabilities. 

Summits' Lane to lead new RAIN group; vet tech journo Brad Hill new RAIN VP/Managing editor

Monday, September 16, 2013 - 10:55am

RAIN Publications and RAIN Summits are merging to create a new company which will offer news, conference events, and more to the dynamic and rapidly-growing Internet radio and online audio industries.

The new venture, RAIN Enterprises, will include a revamped RAIN: Radio And Internet Newsletter website (to go live soon). RAIN Enterprises will be led by CEO Jennifer Lane (right), the longtime President of RAIN Summits.

Over the past several years, the RAIN Summits brand has expanded in scope and authority. The Summits are recognized as the premier educational and networking conferences for the Internet radio and online audio space. Together RAIN Summits and RAIN Publications create a combined entity greater than its parts.

Joining RAIN Enterprises is Vice President and Managing Editor Brad Hill (left), who brings an extensive background in digital publishing. The former GM of Weblogs, Inc., Hill was subsequently head of traffic at AOL, where he oversaw audience development across a large portfolio of media brands including Huffington Post, Mapquest, and Engadget. As a pianist and and ex-radio DJ, Hill has a passion for news about how technology is changing music and radio.

"This is an exciting time for RAIN," said RAIN founder Kurt Hanson. "The team of Jennifer Lane and Brad Hill working together will enable us to build the RAIN brand into a world class leader in news and information related to the rapidly expanding online audio industry."

RAIN Summit Orlando takes place on Tuesday, September 17, in affiliation with the Radio Show, which runs from September 18-20 in Orlando. The Radio Show is produced by the NAB and RAB. More on the RAIN Summit (including a link for registration) is here.

New connected cars put listeners in the driver's seat

Monday, July 15, 2013 - 7:00am

This week in RAIN we're featuring contributions from various industry executives, journalists, and experts on the state and future of Internet radio.

BY JENNIFER LANE
Pandora will be installed
in one-third of the new cars sold this year, which represents an impressive effort on the part of the leading Internet radio station in the U.S. That fact appeared in The Wall Street Journal's WSJ.com recently [more in Audio4cast here].

Pandora’s strategy of gaining automotive deals also gets them lots of listeners -- Pandora says they have seen more than 2.5 million unique activations through integrations from the 23 major automotive brands and eight aftermarket manufacturers with whom they have partnerships.

Meanwhile, the popularity of streaming and the connected dashboard is not being overlooked by SiriusXM. Despite deals that already have their satellite service installed in a long list of vehicles, SiriusXM has been improving its streaming offering of late, and just announced a deal with Ford that will pair both its satellite and online radio offerings in new Ford cars with Sync AppLink.

Smaller Internet radio stations that don’t have the brand power to create their own automotive deals have options as well. Harman’s Aha Radio and TuneIn are two aggregators that have deals with car manufacturers to offer access to a wide variety of content through their platforms, and Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio has announced deals with Toyota, GM, and Chrysler.

While market leaders like Pandora and Sirius XM make deals that put them front and center in your next new car, the truth is the dashboard of that car will probably have a unit installed that will enable you to access any content you want.

At the Connected Car Conference during CE Week in New York recently, Audiovox President Tom Malone discussed the automotive aftermarket products his company is bringing to market, which are all about letting the consumer bring whatever content they want into the car. Solutions that enable the consumer to connect to their content wirelessly through a variety of options -– smartphone, USB, cellular, and stored content in the car, for example -– are the focus now.

Connected car discussions are about more than just the dashboards these days too. Today’s consumers share listening less, and personalized content solutions are coming to the car as well, with rear seat docking solutions. Content delivery to cars is diversifying, putting the consumer in the driver’s seat when it comes to choosing what they will listen to. Receivers that are dedicated purely to AM/FM or satellite are quickly becoming a thing of the past, replaced with devices that enable easy access and endless choice.

In a way, you could say that it’s a game in which content is king...

Jennifer Lane is president of RAIN Summits, which produces the premiere conference series for the Internet radio industry. She blogs at Audio4cast.com (where you can read this and other industry analysis), and is founder of Katz Net Radio Sales (now Katz360).

Lane says website shows "RIAA and NARM are bad business partners for Internet radio"

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 - 1:45pm

Jennifer Lane, in her Audio4Cast blog, takes the record industry to task for its treatment of webcasters on its WhyMusicMatters.com website.

The music industry site serves as a directory for consumers to find legitimate, licensed music services. Lane describes the site's presentation of various services offering "downloads/mp3s," "streaming," and more.

But while on-demand and music subscription services (as well as services in a category called "Premium Internet Radio") are given bold-face "headline" names, brief text descriptions, and thumbnail images, most webcasters are relegated to a "statutory services" page "where the listener has to click through hundreds of alphabetized radio stations (no logos, no descriptions, no links) to find one," according to Lane.

"I’m disappointed in the site," she writes. "Unfortunately, this site is a glaring in-your-face example of a bad business partnership. Internet radio services, Pandora in particular, are paying a lot of money in royalties to SoundExchange, the royalty collection arm of the RIAA, and in return they get a listing buried deep in the site with no logo or link."

She continues: "Is there any other business you can think of where the vendors treat their retailers so badly? Because that’s what this is, it’s streaming services buying the rights to content and offering it to consumers. And clearly the RIAA and NARM are bad business partners for Internet radio."

Read her blog here

Meeker: Pandora desktop monetization 1.7 times that of mobile, but that outpaces some other web services

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 11:35am

Meeker's mobile statsAccording to a recent presentation from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers' Mary Meeker, Pandora's ahead of some other major web companies in terms of mobile monetization.

Meeker's recent presentation at the D10 conference (RAIN coverage here) included a comparison of desktop/mobile monetization rates among Pandora, Tencent (a Chinese web portal) and Zynga. According to the chart, Pandora monetizes its desktop audience 1.7 times more than mobile, compared to 3.3 for Tencent and 5.0 for Zynga.

"The good news is that mobile monetization will catch up," writes Jennifer Lane in Audio4Cast. "In fact Meeker says that in 1 – 3 years it will surpass desktop." You can find Audio4Cast's coverage here.

Some critics wonder if joining iHeartRadio platform worth pulling streams from other sites

Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - 11:05am

iHeartRadio's growing networkVarious industry publications and commentators have recently voiced or reported second thoughts about iHeartRadio's role as an aggregator. Specifically, some question the wisdom of going along with Clear Channel's reported exclusivity requirement for joining iHeartRadio.

Clear Channel has recently added hundreds of third-party station streams to iHeartRadio from Greater Media, Cumulus, EMF, Univision, as well as various non-comms and college stations.

Jennifer Lane writes in Audio4Cast that some of these companies "are rumored to have made iHeartRadio their exclusive digital portal." She thinks that's a dangerous move: "Content creators should work with every distribution platform they can to give listeners access in as many ways as they want it." (Find her blog post here.)

That echoes industry journalist Sean Ross, who in late 2011 wrote (more here) "I’m still in favor of station streams being available in as many places as possible," (though with the warning: "aggregation is not curation").

Earlier this month Carleton College "snubbed" an offer from Clear Channel to join iHeartRadio, Radio-Info reported (here). The student station manager said that to join iHeartRadio, the college station "would have to pull its live stream from all other sites" like TuneIn.

Soon after that story broke, an unnamed commercial station executive told Radio-Info's Tom Taylor that his or her station too "had second thoughts about the requirement that we would have to remove our signal from all other Internet services." The executive did not reveal if the station ended up joining iHeartRadio anyway.

Finally, industry commentator Ken Dardis today points to data from Google to argue iHeartRadio isn't as popular, or as easy to find, as you might expect.

"Be careful about getting caught up in hype," he argues (here). "The exclusivity clause offered to new iHeartRadio stations may turn out to be more a shackle for acquiring, than a bridge to exposure."

What do you think? Is going exclusive with iHeartRadio a good idea? Share your opinion by commenting on this article.

Syndicate content