Pandora increasing spot loads and hiring more AEs

Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 12:45pm

Borrell Associates says its research shows local media companies with ad execs dedicated to digital sales average twice the online revenue of those without specialized AEs, and that hiring digital sales representatives is rising.

Borrell has released its 2013 update on local media digital sales executives, "Assessing Local Digital Sales Forces." You can download a free executive summary of the study here.

Greg Harmon, the study's author, also sees some bold competition from "online pureplay" companies (for example, Pandora or Yelp) who are paying an average starting salary 50% higher than what TV, newspaper, and radio managers offer.

The ad reps, whether working for a pureplay or a traditional media outlet, will likely have plenty to do. Today Strata says its data from a first quarter survey shows 76% of advertisers are "more interested in digital than they were a year ago (up 51% over 2011)," including the "streaming/online radio" segment, for which 54% say they are "more interested in this than last year."

In its summary of the survey, Strata mentioned "streaming or online radio/TV" as an example of a new advertising area into which 47% of respondents say they'll soon expand. Read more from Strata here.

Strata, you'll remember (from RAIN coverage here), is one of the two media buying platforms that has integrated Pandora inventory into their platforms. Pandora CFO Mike Herring called that "a watershed moment" for Internet radio.

He spoke at the Cowen Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, also addressing the webcaster's growing sales force, saying, "every one of [the recent hires] was a top one, two, three seller at their local [terrestrial] station." (He's also quoted as saying these new hires "take somewhat of an initial pay cut coming to Pandora, with the opportunity to be part of something that’s growing," which doesn't necessarily contradict the Borrell finding, as these AEs weren't necessarily dedicated digital sellers at their previous employers.)

And growing it is: Herring says Pandora is increasing the amount of ads it sells and airs, to a maximum of about "3-1/2 units an hour, and they only use :15s and :30s," reports Tom Taylor Now. Read more on Herring's quotes from the Cowen conference from Tom here.

Strata CEO says category change from 'radio' to 'audio' reflects audience, advertiser shifts

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 6:20pm

"The past is about radio. The present and future are about audio."

That's not Pandora founder Tim Westergren saying that, or even RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson. That's John Shelton, president/CEO of Strata, the leading buying and selling platform for all types of media.

Shelton wrote an op-ed in MediaPost to explain his company's decision to transition to use of the term "'audio' to encompass all of the current audio platforms in use, including traditional radio, online streaming radio, and music streaming Web sites, such as Pandora and Spotify."

He cites his company's surveys that show "a consistent decrease over the past 18 quarters in ad buyers’ interest in radio advertising," while American's use of online radio and other digital platforms is growing rapidly.

"Some traditional stations are actually seeing growth again -- not due to traditional listening but Internet streaming," he wrote. "Advertisers should take note." Some apparently have, as he cites the RAB's 2012 digital revenues figure of $767 million, up 63% from 2009. Likewise, first-quarter ad buys on Pandora through Strata were up 35%.

Read Shelton's piece at MediaPost here.

Pandora begins "final stage" of integration with ad-buying platforms to access more radio spending

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 1:45pm

Pandora last week announced media planning and buying integration with the largest media buying software platforms Mediaocean and STRATA.

"This marks the launch of the final stage of Pandora's plans to fully integrate Pandora into media buying platforms," the company's press release reads. May of last year saw the launch of Triton Digital's measurement of Pandora in traditional radio metrics such as AQH and Cume. In March (see RAIN here) Pandora announced that it would make its audience data available in STRATA and Mediaocean's Donovan and Mediabank stewardship systems, enabling radio ad buyers to compare Pandora national and local audience data directly to U.S. radio broadcasters' numbers.

This "final stage," says Pandora, makes it "the first and only digital publisher to integrate the planning, buying and billing phases of the buying process of digital advertising." The new solution "automates the transactional process between media buyers and digital publishers."

"We knew that a substantial portion of the $15 billion radio market is bought through automated systems," Pandora VP of audio sales Doug Sterne told news source AdExchanger. "About 70% of all spot radio is transacted through those systems. So we're trying to duplicate the workflow associated with buying radio. Using Mediaocean and STRATA will allow us to directly tap that pipeline of spending."

Read more in AdExchanger here.

STRATA, Mediaocean media buying platforms integrate Pandora

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 1:10pm

Leading webcaster Pandora announced today its audience data will now be available in STRATA and Mediaocean's Donovan and Mediabank stewardship systems, the three most popular media buying platforms.

This will enable radio ad buyers to compare Pandora national and local audience data directly to U.S. radio broadcasters' numbers. STRATA and Mediaocean will both import use Triton Digital's "Webcast Metrics Local" data as the data source.

STRATA's integration was released in January 2013, and all STRATA agencies now have access to Pandora audience data. Mediaocean is currently in beta release, integrating Pandora data to Mediabank systems in mid-March, and to Donovan systems by the end of April.

There's more in AdWeek here.

Digital will surpass radio during holidays for advertisers, says Strata survey

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 11:10am

Online advertising continues to growA new "flash survey" from Strata Systems predicts that Internet/digital will rank #2 this holiday season among for holiday-oriented advertisers. That displaces spot radio, which falls to #3. The top spot is claimed by spot broadcast and cable TV.

"That said," reports Media Daily News (here), "most respondents indicated the media planning process isn’t as much as an either/or option as it used to be, and that more of their clients are merging analogue and digital media into integrated holiday campaign strategies."

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