Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
Internet radio streaming service Pandora has announced a new Sponsored Listening offering, letting brands give listeners a full hour of ad-free beats in exchange for a little engagement.
Available in the US, Australia and New Zealand, Pandora serves up music from across a multitude of genres for free, though you can cough up $4.99/month to remove the ads.
With Sponsored Listening, you’ll be asked to watch a short video, visit a brand’s website or engage in another similar ‘interaction’. You’ll immediately be granted 60-minutes of uninterrupted listening, though the advertiser’s brand will still be visible on-screen throughout the session.
Time is money
This echoes a similar announcement made by Spotify last month, when it revealed it’s introducing a couple of new video ad products. One of those was ‘Sponsored Sessions’ which is aimed specifically at mobile users, letting them opt-in to view short videos in return for 30-minutes of ad-free tunes.
Pandora has been trialing this product already, but now it’s opening things up to a wider (but still limited) audience with a handful of brands, which include Fox and Sony.
Pandora has dabbled in the past with similar initiatives, including Sponsored Trials, which gives you free access to the ad-free ‘Pandora One’ service for seven days. Now, it’s looking to take things a step further by seeking deeper engagement with the listener, though of course it’s far from certain that they’ll have the listener’s full, undivided attention.
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