Pandora rolling out muted video and responsive display ads

Internet radio and streaming company Pandora has announced that it will roll out muted video and responsive mobile display ads to all its advertisers on January 19. The new ad formats are meant to drive results across key performance indicators, including time spent with ads, brand favorability and intent to purchase, according to a release by the company.

Denny's has been a beta user of Pandora's new visual ads

The ads have already been in beta with select partners, including Denny’s Express, Google, the Lexus Dealer Association and Ascent Protein, since June 2016. The new mobile ad formats, the first in the company’s Visual Ad Experience suite, display or play within the square space on the screen typically reserved for album art in responsive design.

“We are reinventing our mobile display ads to take full advantage of screen real estate and features native to our platform,” said John Trimble, chief revenue officer at Pandora. "And because our display ads are served only when a listener is looking at their phone, and we have one of the largest logged-in user bases, we are uniquely positioned to deliver listener attention to advertisers at scale.”

On average, beta partners saw up to 50% increases in time spent with the Responsive Mobile Display ads, according to a Millward Brown Digital study last September. And because music drives positive brand association, advertisers leveraging Pandora’s new Muted Video solution saw a 32% increase in listeners who spend at least five seconds with the video, as well as strong completion rates, which is so far pleasing the beta users.

“At Denny’s, we understand the importance of continuing to find new and innovative ways to connect with our fans on their terms and in their terms, especially in the digital world,” said John Dillon, chief marketing officer at Denny’s. “Our recent beta partnership with Pandora offered us an opportunity to showcase the launch of our new Buttermilk Pancakes in a way that was highly engaging, while also being cohesive – rather than intrusive – to our target audience’s online experience.”

According to a Pandora Soundboard VAE Survey in October 2016, the new ads are resonating with listeners. The survey found that three out of four said they prefer the new experience and 74% said they were more likely to engage with the new formats.

This is the most recent advertising innovation from Pandora, joining both Sponsored Listening and a new advertising opportunity that lets brands sponsor skips and replays. Pandora also launched its Pandora Premium ad-free stream to listeners this month.

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