Four months ago we announced the general availability of our newest native ad solution, Sponsored Listening, where listeners can opt-in to a brand experience for a required 15 seconds in exchange for a full hour of uninterrupted listening, courtesy of the brand sponsor. Since then, we’ve been keeping a close eye on its performance and how listeners are responding. We’re thrilled to report that Sponsored Listening has successfully enabled our brand partners to capture the attention and engagement of their target audiences, while also facilitating an enhanced listening experience.
From analyzing the behaviors of our 78 million monthly listeners1, we’ve noticed that users are choosing to engage with Sponsored Listening brands even after the reward hour has been granted. The completion rate for the 30-second video spot alone is 3.4X higher than the industry benchmark2, and completion rates for longer video spots have nearly doubled since Sponsored Listening launched. Even click-through rates have remained above 4%. With the average listener spending 32 minutes with the branded content, these insights prove that our listeners are paying active attention to advertisements within the Sponsored Listening environment.
Here is our main takeaway – compelling brand creative makes all the difference, and what happens in that initial 15 seconds of brand messaging is crucial to maintaining the attention of listeners. We’ve compiled a few best practices to help you make the most of a Sponsored Listening campaign:
1. Maintain Consumer Attention After You Have Captured it
Pandora users must engage with brand content for at least 15 seconds to receive their hour of uninterrupted listening. So creative that builds and then reveals the key message at or after the 15-second mark has shown to be highly effective.
2. Make the Most of Rich Media
Rich media content is a great way to capture attention, especially with Sponsored Listening. But keep in mind that it should contain in-depth product and/or brand content that will engage the listener for 15 seconds, while delivering your key brand message.
3. Personalize for the Pandora Listener
Listening to Pandora is a personal experience: it’s your music, customized to your individual tastes. Successful advertising on Pandora should compliment that experience. Use a conversational tone and clear call-to-action to personalize the message for your target audience.
4. Make it Relevant
We recently launched a holiday-themed template to add a festive touch to Sponsored Listening campaigns running in November and December. Holiday is on everyone’s mind, so take the opportunity to contextualize your brand messaging accordingly. Plus, it’s a great way to deliver a holiday-themed message to a captivated and engaged audience this season.
Advertisers should be thinking strategically about what is the best possible creative to garner positive brand engagement. Sponsored Listening is a highly effective advertising solution, and we know that strong creative is essential for capturing and maintaining audience attention. We hope these tips are useful when thinking about how to leverage Sponsored Listening for your brand. Contact a sales representative who can answer questions and set you up to advertise with a Sponsored Listening solution.
1 Pandora Internal Metrics, October 2015
2 MMA Global Mobile Video Benchmark Study, April 2014