Pandora increasing spot loads and hiring more AEs

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Issue Date: 
May 30 2013 - 12:45pm

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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.

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