Pandora Radios In Video Ads

Internet radio pioneer Pandora Media is launching a pair of video ad campaigns—a first for the audio-centric company.

The company, which allows users to create custom radio stations, on Sept. 16 kicked off campaigns for NBC, which is promoting its new nurse-themed drama Mercy; and MTV Games, which is pushing The Beatles: Rock Band game. Both campaigns will leverage several new ad offerings created by Pandora specifically for entertainment brands, including 30-second spots, user-initiated extended video trailers and branded radio stations.

In addition, NBC’s Mercy effort, which runs through Sept. 23, will include videos and banners on Pandora’s iPhone app, one of the more popular applications created for that device. For MTV Games, Pandora will offer users access to a :30 demo of the much-hyped Beatles game during the campaign, which concludes on Oct. 11.

The push into video is noteworthy for Pandora, given that the site provides mostly an audio experience for its users. Users can listen to their custom radio stations online or via their iPhone without spending much time on—or looking at their computer or phone screens.

But while Pandora has tested audio ads, it has also moved aggressively into the display ad business of late, with campaigns for brands like Becks and Crate and Barrel, among others.

Pandora executives claim that users frequently interact with the service directly by voting for which songs they like or dislike—providing numerous opportunities for users to encounter ads.