Pandora, the Internet music streaming application, is launching an incentive-based ad program called Video Plus. Video Plus rewards viewers with song replays and the ability to skip tunes in exchange for their ad views. To put it simply, Video Plus ads are sponsored playbacks and skips.
Now, we have seen similar ad models to this in games and applications where in order to get more lives or coins you would watch a video. So, Pandora is not the first to launch a product like this for advertisers. “We’re always looking for new and innovative tactics to reach and engage with consumers in relevant ways,” said Kari Marshall, VP of media at T-Mobile. There is always a catch though, users must give permission and opt-in to participate in watching ads and getting rewards. Surprisingly, 42% of Pandora’s 76 million monthly users have already opted in.
During the testing phase alone, around 30 million people opted into Video Plus. “Some of the opt-in rates are particularly exciting—for example, when we’re asking users if they would like to watch an ad to replay a song, we’re seeing that over half of the time they choose to actively engage, raise their hands, and say “Yes, I’m happy to watch this ad”.
“Let’s say I’m a teenager who wants to reply a new single I just heard for the first time,” explained Jonathan Eccles, group product manager at Pandora. “I may actually intend to reply that song a few times, so in that case, we’d allow one video ad to power multiple replays.” This product makes it so the advertisers only pay if the viewer watches 15 seconds or more of the playing ad – cost per 15 seconds completed view (CPCV).
“And what is an advertiser is looking to tell a more in-depth story? Video Plus also allows brands to run longer ads, such as 30-second spots or even long-form up to 2.5 minutes—in these cases, you’re still only ever paying if 15 seconds or more is consumed.”
I think this is a pretty cool new incentive. You also have to remember that there are users who pay for the premium version of Pandora—they already get unlimited skips and replays, so will need to use voice plus. But this offers a lot to those who can’t afford or don’t want to pay for the application. I am expecting that reward-based advertising views are a thing we will start to see more of. Interested in reading more stories like this? Stay up to date with the digital marketing world and sign up for our weekly newsletter!