Rdio Launches Native Ad Product With Hard Rock Hotels as Its First Client

Touted as hybrid of Pandora, Spotify

Rdio has a new native advertising product called Promoted Music Experiences, which the music streamer believes will offer brands something its competitors haven't. It has partnered with Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos for the launch.

"Streaming services thus far have had a difficult time introducing native advertising into its platform," Jared Heiman, head of Global Advertising Partnerships for Rdio, told Adweek. "Nobody is offering all three components in one ad package."

Rdio's Promoted Music Experiences consist of a branded station, profile and home story (Rdio's personalized feed of music recommendations). Heiman describes the idea as a "hybrid" between what other streamers such as Pandora and Spotify offer advertisers. "You don't have the sort of profiles for brands on Pandora," explains Heiman. "If you look at a Spotify, they have an advertiser page which really is nothing more than an embedded microsite within their desktop player."

The partnership with Hard Rock is part of a larger, yearlong agreement between the two companies, though Rdio is working on adding more partners. "We do have other brands lined up," said Heiman.

For Hard Rock, the choice to partner with Rdio was based on the ease of access to the service as well as its global availability (it's offered in 85 countries).

"[We're] aligning with a company that can support us in those markets," said Matt Watts, director of music and marketing, hotels and casinos at Hard Rock. "The fact that you can stream it so easily without some sort of API, you can stream it on the Web, I think was a really powerful feature for us."

In order to make up Hard Rock's playlist, Watts said the managers of each property chose 20-50 songs. Artists Hard Rock has partnered with, including Young the Giant, Andrew McMahon, and The Jane Doe's, will curate playlists as well.

"No one has these three core components packaged into one," said Heiman.  "This is a way for us to allow advertisers to dip into our catalog."