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Pandora Hiring Sellers to Compete With Radio


You can almost guarantee that on every conference call Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy will talk about how his company is coming after radio's advertising dollars. He didn't disappoint yesterday. "Pandora continues to disrupt the $16 Billion radio advertising market." Kennedy says Pandora has superior targetablilty, better interactivity and is measurable. And as of today, according to Kennedy, Pandora now has over 6% of all radio listening. That number is certainly hard to verify. One thing that isn't hard to verify is how many people Pandora is adding to its sales force.

In 2011 Pandora had 427 people on the Payroll. That number has increased to 589 employees with the bulk of the new hires (79%) in sales. Salespeople are being deployed all over the country to compete with radio for advertising dollars, although Kennedy is never specific about which markets those salespeople are in. The company typically focuses on major markets, some of which it claims to be the number one radio station in certain demos.

Kennedy says he wants marketers to be able to place ads on Pandora just as easy as they can purchase advertising with "your local FM radio station." And, part of that process is setting up a system where marketers can do that electronically. "We want media buyers to have access to information electronically, make request for proposals electronically, place orders electronically and do follow-up billing electronically." He says that system is being rolled out to ad agencies a little at a time. Pandora also allows third party re-sellers to sell ads for the company but the bulk of the ad revenue comes from direct sales efforts.

(8/31/2012 9:44:45 AM)
Good for them and not surprising in retrospect that the portable radio (aka mobile phone) with the IP antennae is being disruptive.

- Jeff S

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