Retail Executive

SEP-OCT 2017

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Pandora Courts Retailers With Data Points Streaming services like Pandora deliver real-time, personalized audio advertisements to your customers via carefully curated listener data. J O H N G R E G O R Y Retail Head of Industry, Pandora AUDIO IS THE NEW USER INTERFACE But the world doesn't stand still, and while Pandora led the charge in developing the first ad-based, personalized mu- sic experience, we're on an even greater mission to build a next-generation audio ad experience to maximize adver- tiser effectiveness and listener enjoyment. We accept this challenge with the realization that we are living in a world where audio is the new user interface, and the way we en- gage with technology is rapidly changing. Touch is being replaced by voice and other natural user interfaces, and this will have a huge impact on advertisers. We are testing, creating, and learning to disrupt the industry once again. So, what's next in audio advertising innovation? Given the importance Pandora places on delivering the right mes- sage to the right person at the right moment, we are en- abling the next level of personalization for audio ads with the introduction of Dynamic Audio Ads. In an exclusive partnership with a U.K.-based company, A Million Ads, we have recently begun testing two different offerings. First, Personalized Audio, which will enable us to serve tailored audio ads in real time to listeners of dif- ast forward 40,000 years — not much has changed in that equation, as humans have continued to use their auditory sense as a means to identify, explore, communicate, and entertain. For Pandora, or any music enterprise along the way, it's the primal and emotional connection to music that facilitated our growth and success. Not until the first radio station was launched less than 100 years ago was music and voice content shared far beyond the family liv- ing room, town square, or local music hall. It wasn't long until advertising was sold as a means to support the free distribution of audio content, and the retail industry has long been an important partner in this media channel. Whether it be the use of jingles to identify prominent lo- cal department stores or aggressive promotional messag- ing over local radio stations, audio ads have always been an integral part of the communication strategy to drive interest and consumer traffic to retail establishments. Until the early 2000s, radio advertising planning and strategy for retailers was fairly straightforward with predicable outcomes. However, with the emergence of the internet, continued technical innovation, and, most recently, the proliferation of mobile devices, our under- standing of the media world has been shaken to its core. In a relatively short period of time, terrestrial radio has given way to digital streaming music services such as Pandora, which had developed the technical capability to deliver a personalized music experience to a registered user base, all with limited advertising interruption. In addition, the collection of billions of data points from our registered listener base helped Pandora evolve in digital audience development and targeted media distribution. F The human species has a long history with music entertainment. After solving the most immediate need for food, shelter, and the warmth of fire, discovering a means to cele- brate that achievement was likely the next important development for cave people. Imagine if we could combine artificial intelligence and voice activation to enable a conversation with your favorite fashion influencer, celebrity chef, or garden expert, all through an advertisement. AUDIO MEDIA Customer Engagement By J. Gregory PANDORA COURTS RETAILERS WITH DATA POINTS RETAILEXECUTIVE.COM SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 36

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