Streaming platform Pandora says it is trying out a new mobile advertising option that is both more visual and more interactive. The company says the beta will feature ads from a clothing company (Express) and the automotive sector (Lexus Dealer Association), with the full program rolling out to all advertisers later in 2016.
In a blog post, Pandora Chief Product Officer Chris Phillips writes: “We’re setting out to reinvent Pandora’s mobile display ad solution to take better advantage of screen real estate, and features native to our own platform. We’ll also be emphasizing the human need for attention on an ad, which needs to take place before meaningful interaction with brand content can happen.”
So what does that mean in terms of the new in-app ad experience?
The new ad experience is contained within the space normally occupied by album art and is responsive, automatically adjusting to the size of the phone’s screen. The program also enables advertisers to offer muted video, which can be tapped to unmute and also then viewed in full-screen mode.
It also allows advertisers to measure listener engagement, including time spent and viewability, and supports IAB standard ads as well as programmatic needs. Pandora partnered with ad search and analytics company Moat to measure in-app viewability.
According to Pandora’s announcement, during the interactive ad pilot, listener engagement with advertiser’s landing page for more than 30 seconds doubled.
“We saw an industry-wide problem with visual mobile ads and focused on what ‘the impression’ initially set out to achieve: viewability, time spent, attention and engagement,” Pandora Chief Revenue Officer John Trimble said in the release, adding the program challenges advertisers to “think less about traditional impressions and more about the quality of each interaction.”