How to Run Pandora Music Ads


Pandora, the popular music-streaming service, boasts over 81 million users, and the average Pandora user spends 2 hours and 15 minutes per day listening to music on the platform.

Pandora users

With the ads options on both their free and paid platforms, Pandora music ads are a great opportunity for advertisers who want to increase their audience.

Let’s learn about how you can harness Pandora’s unique advertising platform to make your campaign goals a reality.


How Do Pandora Ads Work?

Pandora advertisers can choose among three types of ads, all of which include several subsets.

Pandora’s three main ad types are:

  • Pandora contents ads
  • Pandora visual ads
  • Pandora audio ads


Pandora Music Content Ads

This ad experience allows advertisers to share content with listeners in unique ways, including the option to build branded playlists and own all of the ad space on a particular station.

In short, content ads are all about bringing content to listeners through different immersive modes.

Brand Stations

These stations give advertisers half of the ad breaks that occur on chosen stations that target certain demographics.

Artist Programs

These programs allow advertisers to align with particular artists that are relevant to their demographic.

Branded Stations

By allowing brands to build 80-100 song playlists, advertisers can craft playlists that encapsulate the theme of a campaign.

Sponsored Stations

Providing advertisers with all ad space between songs, these stations let you target specific demographics associated with stations.


Pandora Music Audio Ads

These ad experiences focus primarily on audio components.

Think of the ads you hear on the radio; those interruptions that occur between songs.

With Pandora audio ads, the same premise applies, with the ad playing during selected periods of time.

Platform-Specific Audio

These music ads allow advertisers to connect with their intended audience for 10-, 15-, or 30-second gaps between songs and are supplemented with a visual presence.

Audio Everywhere

These Pandora music ads help users reach beyond the platform, expanding ad reach to connected cars and smart speakers.

The Audio Everywhere product allows advertisers to use a 10-, 15-, or 30-second audio spot and is accompanied by a visual ad presence.

Sequential Audio

This feature allows advertisers to tell a true story, using technology to release an extended ad sequence piece by piece.

Perfect for sharing your in-depth brand story, these ads allow you to share sequential ads in real-time, moving your listeners along the buyer’s journey with your narrative.

Dynamic Audio

This Pandora music ad draws on the platform’s intelligent ad technology to optimize factors, including weather, time, and location, to create the right message for the right listener at the right time.

By harnessing the platform’s data, you can build highly targeted ads that speak directly toward your core audience.


Pandora Music Video Ads

With the most diverse placement options to choose from, Pandora video ads offer a variety of ways to reach listeners.

From trading ad interaction for listening time to strategically placed video, these ads are a great tool for marketers.

Video Everywhere

With a standard 300 x 250 banner, these ads run across the platform whenever ad inventory is available.

Platform-specific Video

This full-screen video appears to listeners when they are engaging with the platform, ensuring maximum visibility and interaction.

Mobile Muted Video

As the name suggests, this video ads-option is available on mobile only.

The muted video starts automatically, giving the listener the option to unmute, pause, or watch the full video on the screen.

If the call to action (CTA) button is clicked, the listener will automatically be directed to your landing page.

Sponsored Listening

This Pandora music ads-option provides listeners with one hour of ad-free music in exchange for 15 seconds of engagement with your video ad.

Video Plus

This user opt-in feature allows listeners to skip more songs, receive Pandora Premium access, and replay songs by interacting with your video content.

Display Everywhere

This cost-effective option allows advertisers to reach audiences through banners that manifest across all platforms.

Platform-specific Display

These Pandora music ads are only offered to active users, allowing advertisers to showcase their visuals on their platform across mobile, tablet, and web.

Sponsored Listening

Pandora offers listeners an hour of free content for 15 seconds of engagement with your visual ad.

Responsive Mobile Display

This Pandora music ad function places your visual ad in the place where album covers are generally displayed during song play.

Web Billboard

This option gives advertisers the opportunity to use a one-day pop-up takeover that will appear above the media player.

Elements of the campaign will dominate the background, giving listeners maximum exposure to your brand.

Mobile Welcome Interstitial

This Pandora music ad displays the full screen as soon as users open the app.

Dynamic Display

This Pandora music ad offers advertisers four ways to connect with audiences via display ads:

  • Sequential Messaging: These ads display to the audience in a sequence determined by the listener’s previous ad behavior.
  • CTR Optimization: This function allows advertisers to test out multiple banners to determine which performs best for intended audience segments.
  • Creative Targeting: This function allows separate landing page creation for different audience segments, all while using the same advertising tag.
  • Amplified Results: This Pandora music ad feature is pretty cool. You can add limitless special effects to your ad, including a countdown and even a weather dashboard. The sky is truly the limit.


How Much Do Pandora Ads Cost?

Armed with a better understanding of the array of ads available to advertisers, you’re probably wondering how these ads can work into your budget.

One of the best attributes of Pandora music ads is the cost-effective pricing structure.

Below, we break down how much each ad type costs.


While you may have anticipated these ads to come with the lowest price tag, they don’t.

These ads run approximately $8-$12 per CPM.


Video is the most expensive category of Pandora music ad.

It’s also the most immersive.

These ads will set your campaign back an average of $15-$25 per CPM.


These Pandora music ads average $5-$7 per CPM, making them the most cost-effective group.


3 Reasons You Should Run a Pandora Music Ad Campaign

We’ve already covered the sheer magnitude of users on Pandora, not to mention their dedication to active listening on the platform.

Those aren’t the only reasons Pandora is a great platform for advertising though.

Here are three other reasons to consider advertising on Pandora.

1. It Increases Brand Awareness

With a multitude of ad types to choose from, you can change the way you tell your brand or your product’s story.

By using different modes to share your message, you increase the opportunity your intended audience will not only see but interact with your brand.

This strategy allows you to increase both brand awareness and audience reach.

4610 Busting5MythsAudioAdvertising image

To help you achieve this goal, Pandora shared three tips for taking advantage of the platform’s unique reach to grow your brand awareness.

  1. mention your brand name within the first few seconds of your ads
  2. make sure your ads are contextually relevant
  3. to consider video to drive awareness

By employing these three strategies, you can increase awareness, which can ultimately lead to actual sales.

How to Run Ads on Pandora Music - pandora ad example

2. It Helps You Reach Your Target Audience

Regardless of the type of marketing campaign you’re running, it is vital you target the right audience, rather than risk spending time and budget on messages that go nowhere.

We’ve already covered the sheer size of the Pandora audience.

What we haven’t discussed is how Pandora’s wealth of user data can help you reach the intended audience for your particular campaign or business quickly and directly.

During the registration process (this applies to both free and paid accounts), Pandora gathers over 1 billion data points daily.

The streaming platform goes above and beyond asking for zip code and birth date.

When you advertise on Pandora, you have the unique opportunity to leverage this data to create custom audiences who are most likely to interact with your ads.

By narrowing down audiences with this specific data, you are much more likely to succeed, while also protecting your budget.

Pandora’s segmentation options don’t stop there; advertisers can customize by parameters like time of day, device, ethnicity, and other factors that can help you create and reach your ideal audience.

How to Run Ads on Pandora Music - data available for pandora ad campaign

3. It Can Help You Drive More Revenue

Hopefully, with the increased reachable audience comes increased revenue.

In addition, Pandora offers clear metrics that can help marketers assess how their campaign is performing and where room for improvement is necessary.

While the metrics associated with classic radio advertising are essentially useless, Pandora provides marketers with clear data points for each ad type through an easy-to-use dashboard.

For web ads, these data points include:

  • impressions
  • clicks
  • CTR
  • completion rate
  • quartile rate

For mobile ads, these data points include:

  • time spent with ads
  • time spent on a landing page
  • social share
  • sun-mute rate (only shown for muted video ads)

Given the availability of these metrics, Pandora advertisers are able to assess what is working and, conversely, what isn’t, allowing you to track and optimize your ROI.

image2 vanitymetrics

Don’t believe us?

Here’s one of our favorite examples of successful advertising on Pandora.

Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts aimed to connect with the teen audience on the platform.

The company was able to attribute the following ROI to the campaign in 2015:

  • tripled ROI
  • The 7-percent increase in incremental sales
  • 347K station ads generated
  • 466K listening hours logged

If that’s not a compelling success testimonial, we don’t know what is.


How to Set Up Your Pandora Ad Campaign

Launching a digital Pandora ad campaign is easy.

First, reach out to a Pandora advertising rep.

This step starts the conversation, and the representative will provide you with a Pandora advertising guide that will allow you to make the decisions below.

  • While we’ve discussed the variety of Pandora music ads at a relatively high level, it’s time to dive into the nitty-gritty to decide which Pandora music ad format is right for your campaign and identify the necessary asset to suit that format.
  • Assess Pandora’s demographic information (also provided in the guide from the streaming platform). Identify which audience segments are right for your campaign and share those with the Pandora representative.
  • Determine the best time of day for your audience to interact with your ad.

Once you’ve completed these four steps, your campaign will be well on its way to create and can track its performance through the provided metrics we mentioned above.



If you’re looking for new mediums to reach your target audience, Pandora is a great place to start.

Much like any other digital marketing strategy, you should approach your Pandora plan with a clear goal in mind.

Offline Digital Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide

With a variety of options from audio to visual to video, you can easily find the right medium for your ad.

If you have a bigger budget, you can invest in multiple formats, ensuring your brand’s message is shared across the heavily trafficked platform.

Narrowing down your audience and deciding where to invest your ad dollars can be overwhelming, so reach out to our agency if you want help.

What’s the best Pandora ad you’ve ever heard or seen?


About the Author Amel

I'm a Digital Marketing Strategist passionate about SEO and Digital Analytics. I also teach Digital Marketing and offer customized private coaching to entrepreneurs and in-house marketers to help them take their revenue or skills to the next level. Follow me on Twitter where I offer advice and share high quality content on marketing, tech and productivity.

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