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Katz to Rep Pandora

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Katz 360 Sales has signed an agreement with Pandora to represent a significant portion of Pandora's digital audio ad inventory, the companies announced Monday (Aug. 3).

The deal underscores Pandora's recent commitment to expand its inventory beyond display advertising into in-stream audio advertising, a growing online sales channel.

Pandora, a free online radio service, credits the addition of in-stream audio inventory for its ongoing sales growth.

"As a result of the high interest on the radio ad sales front since launching only six months ago, we've engaged Katz 360 to represent us in our uncovered territories," said Doug Sterne, director of audio sales at Pandora.

As part of the agreement, Pandora, which has a small audio sales team of five people, will have access to Katz's 12 dedicated digital sales executives, plus the 200 Katz Radio account executives that also sell into the Katz Online Network.

For Katz, the addition of Pandora's 4 million monthly visitors to Katz Online Network's 6 million monthly visitors, makes Pandora a critical strategic partner for Katz, which represents the streams of Clear Channel Radio and other radio groups and smaller pure-play Webcasters such as AccuRadio.com, RadioIO, 977 Music.com, and Digitally Imported.

It also strengthens Katz Online Network's competitive position with its sole competitor, TargetSpot, which has 15 million monthly visitors and represents CBS Radio and other radio groups as well as pure play Webcasters such as AOL Radio, Yahoo and Live365.

"The addition of Pandora will allow us to make even greater strikes in working with national advertisers to create strategic, geo-targeted ad campaigns that can be customized to any advertiser's needs," said Brian Benedik, president of Katz 360, the digital sales arm of Katz Media Group.

"More advertisers understand the space and growth has been exponential. You're seeing four to five times the revenue going into the medium compared to last year," Benedik said.