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Pandora to Use Political Preference to Target Ads

Can a mix of election results, geography and musical tastes be a gold mine of political information that will sell?

Pandora is poised to use political preference to target advertising. Or so it hopes.

That’s according to the Wall Street Journal, which reports the Internet audio company is launching an ad system to take advantage of political advertising this year, a congressional mid-term election year.

The effort highlights new ways, beyond tracking Web-browsing habits, that digital media are seeking to use information users share or can be guessed at through preferences to target ads.

Pandora, which claims 73 million active monthly listeners, plans to match election results with listeners’ ZIP codes, and use song preferences to guess at a listener’s political affiliation, according to the account. The company feels that the result should attract political ads.

The WSJ says Facebook does the same thing, and began allowing political firms to target users based on interests and location during the 2008 election.