Five Things to Know About Pandora

Over the last two years, few media outlets have grown faster than, or gotten more media coverage, than Pandora.  Many businesses, national and local, have started advertising on the streaming media service.  But is it the right venue for your message?  Maybe, maybe not. Here are five points for you to consider.

1)      Pandora’s ‘ratings’ vs. radio is not an apples-to-apples comparison. 

Pandora claims to have varying levels of listening in markets around the country, even claiming to be ‘the number one station’ in some markets. But they will not participate in the commonly accepted ratings systems such as Nielsen.  Their ‘ratings’ are typically an equation utilizing the number of streaming sessions and time spent listening to arrive at an Average Quarter Hour rating number.

2)      Those ‘ratings’ are for all their formats and market-wide, not a single station

The claimed ratings numbers combine all their ‘stations’ and platforms together to compare against individual radio stations, so if various demographics and music formats were taken into consideration, their numbers get much smaller.

3)      Geographic targeting is not as accurate as one might assume.

Serving impressions and commercials based on a client’s geographic preferences assumes the listener information is correct as entered when they signed up for the service.  The 2010 census says 40% of 18+ Americans move over the course of three years. Is their geo-targeting any longer accurate?  And mobile targeting, where Pandora gets a majority of their listening, is even worse.  A person’s cell phone number (area code) increasingly has little relevance to their actual location as they tote that number from place to place.

4)      Pandora listening does not equal less radio listening.

A new study (8/14) of 1100 Pandora users by Nuvoodoo Research examined the relationship between radio listening and Pandora use. The research shows that 62% of Pandora users that listen at least 30 minutes on average per day, also listen at least that much to broadcast radio. For more, visit:

5)      Pandora and other pure-play services can be ‘personalized, but are not personal.’

Local sponsors of Forever Media radio stations benefit from our live and local content.  We are part of our communities and our listeners’ world. We create and deliver content created by programmers who understand the preferences and values of their neighborhood, delivered by personalities that listeners feel attached to as friends. We provide local information; news, traffic, weather, opinions, events, promotional opportunities, and the ability to communicate with personalities and stations to discuss what is important to listeners and their communities.

Forever Media radio stations recently collaborated on the 4th Annual Radiothon to benefit the Nemours A I Dupont Hospital for Children, raising more than $257,000 in two days.  That’s not something that could be accomplished on Pandora, Spotify or other such services.  See more about those stations here:

Contact us and let’s have a conversation about how Forever Media’s radio stations and digital products & services can help you reach your target consumer.