Back in April, one of “the moments” at Kurt Hanson’s RAIN conference was the statement by Pandora’s Doug Sterne that while national ad dollars were the company’s “low hanging fruit,” the big focus would soon be on local advertising revenue.
This struck me as a concern because as Pandora tops the 60 million registered listeners threshold and continues to be the darling of Internet radio fans everywhere, this incursion into local market ad dollars could not be ignored.
As we have posited here on numerous occasions, broadcasters who continue to perceive the competition as each other are missing the rapidly growing gorilla in the room. In Inside Radio yesterday, Sterne provided more details of Pandora’s plan to usurp local radio.
With sales offices in the Bay Area, NYC, LA, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, and Atlanta, Pandora is aggressively chasing local ad dollars. And as Sterne points out, Pandora’s numbers no longer classify the service as a niche player. Ando Media notes that Pandora now accounts for nearly half of all Internet radio listening, similar findings to what we saw this past winter in Technology Survey VI.
Some of Pandora’s sales reps are coming from radio and other local media who most certainly know their way around the retail and agency sectors in their markets.
As Sterne reminded IR, “We’re not focused on putting anyone out of business.”
And the check is in the mail.