Pandora CEO Kennedy Talks Ad Growth
February 14, 2013

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs tech conference on Wednesday, Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy discussed the digital music service's growth and its increasing movement into terrestrial radio's advertising space. Kennedy said that Pandora sees 2013 as "enabling us to accelerate our penetration of the traditional radio market," reports Radio Ink. He also spoke about terrestrial radio's lengthier spot breaks, calling them "crushing," and noting that most ads on Pandora are just 15 or 30 seconds, adding up to a one minute spot set in total. Kennedy said that Pandora's ads are more powerful and hit their targets more effectively as part of shorter stop sets. Pandora currently airs just one or two ads per hour, though the company expects to gradually increase that number.

Kennedy also told Goldman Internet analyst Heath Terry that Pandora plans to have salespeople in the top 25 markets in 2013, up from just the top ten. Pandora is aiming for larger advertisers as well, not just local businesses. The company also will take advantage of its data on each user, which includes individuals' email, birth year and zip code.

According to Forbes, Kennedy also made multiple references to "disrupting" traditional terrestrial radio, in both listening and advertising. Kennedy said that currently almost 80 percent of Pandora listening time is done on mobile devices. He also discussed the issue of royalty costs, saying that while the company believes it pays an unfairly high cost, Pandora can still build their business despite the current rates.

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Manny Simon
VP/Adult Formats,
Republic Records

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