Pandora Finally Finding Its Mobile Marketing Niche

On the heels of finally entering profitability, Pandora is seeing impressive growth in terms of mobile-based advertising revenue and the types of brands using the service to promote their products.  

With the launch of mobile apps for the iPhone, Blackberry and Windows Mobile, Pandora has seen subscriber growth reach well over 6 million mobile users.  This growing platform is ripe for integrated mobile marketing, and brands are starting to take notice.  What makes Pandora so appealing is the amount of time that users spend on the service creating stations, rating songs, and scrolling through playlists.  Pandora founder Tim Westergren claims that the service’s mobile users spend, on average, around 90 minutes a day using the service.

National brands have been using the service as sort of a testbed for different types of mobile marketing campaigns, and so far, the response rates have been very encouraging.  Target, for example, claims that 27 percent more people clicked on its Pandora ad promoting the release of Christina Aguilera’s greatest hits CD last autumn than on any other mobile web campaign.  Likewise, home music systems company Sonos said click through rates were typically 5 percent for their Pandora ads, compared to the usual 1-2 percent seen elsewhere on the mobile Web.

Most mobile Web services can’t hold consumers attention long enough for a successful mobile marketing campaign, but Pandora is one that can.  The nature of the service is perfect for almost all types of display advertising, mobile coupons and many others, and isn’t as limited as others have proved to be.  

Dockers, for example, offered a coupon, while Domino’s tried it out as a direct marketing tool, testing out ads that told mobile users to call to order a pizza.  It’s still rather early to speculate, but Pandora could prove to be a rock-solid platform for all types of mobile marketing- which is still rare these days.