Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P), the leading Internet radio service, today announced that its latest engagement-based advertising product, Sponsored Listening, is now available to all advertisers. The product gives Pandora users an hour of uninterrupted listening following their engagement with a brand’s video or rich media unit at the beginning of their session. This launch follows a beta period initiated in September 2014 during which Sponsored Listening received positive feedback from Pandora’s listeners and produced a measurable return on investment for advertisers.
During the beta testing period for the product, Sponsored Listening resulted in a 12 percent lift in brand awareness and a 30 percent lift in purchase intent for advertisers. Consumers also praised the product via Twitter and Facebook, stating that they loved the experience.
“As the competition for consumer attention continues to intensify, brands are looking for advertising products that can help them create a lasting impression and resonate with their target audiences,” said Lizzie Widhelm, Pandora’s senior vice president of advertising product strategy and sales. “Sponsored Listening enhances our suite of engagement-based advertising solutions by building on products such as Brand Stations, and is another manifestation of our philosophy that what’s good for the listener is good for the advertiser.”
In addition to being available for all Pandora advertisers, Sponsored Listening now also offers advertisers more creative opportunity. In the beta phase, video ad units or swipe-able slideshows initiated the hour of uninterrupted listening. Now, with general availability, a brand can also introduce additional rich media units, such as interactive 360-degree product views, in advance of the sponsored hour. In addition to advertisers like Land Rover North America that have extended from the beta phase to general availability, new brands leveraging Pandora’s Sponsored Listening solution post-beta include: Corona Extra, Gatorade, truTV and Yuengling.
“The Sponsored Listening offering is unique, and we jumped at the opportunity to align with this attention-based service during the launch of the new Discovery Sport,” said Kim Kyaw, digital marketing and social media manager at Land Rover North America. “Pandora’s Sponsored Listening product allowed consumers to engage with the vehicle – by watching a video or by interacting with a 360 degree unit – for at least 15 seconds. Opportunities to engage with our consumers around new vehicle launches within premium listening environments are difficult to find.” (Original Source)
Shares of Pandora Media closed last Friday at $15.96. P has a 1-year high of $28.96 and a 1-year low of $13.30. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $15.68 and its 200-day moving average is $16.52.
On the ratings front, Pandora Media has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on July 24, Albert Fried analyst Richard Tullo upgraded P to Buy, with a price target of $19, which implies an upside of 19.0% from current levels. Separately, on the same day, RBC’s Mark Mahaney maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $24.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Richard Tullo and Mark Mahaney have a total average return of -1.5% and 24.0% respectively. Tullo has a success rate of 55.9% and is ranked #2970 out of 3712 analysts, while Mahaney has a success rate of 65.0% and is ranked #9.
Overall, one research analyst has rated the stock with a Sell rating, 4 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 11 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $20.44 which is 28.1% above where the stock closed last Friday.
Pandora Media Inc provides internet radio services on smartphones, tablets, traditional computers and car audio systems, as well as other internet-connected devices.