adStream: Competitive ads

adstream - pandora - Google Play 300wShould radio and Internet radio platforms run ads for competitors? In the battle for “share of ear,” this is a question we have examined from a number of angles.

First, published a recording of a broadcast radio spot for iTunes Radio, which seemed like a double incursion. iTunes Radio competes with radio for listeners share, and also represents a highly disruptive new paradigm of listening which threatens radio.

On the basis of that bit of ad-spotting, we ran a poll asking readers whether radio should allow commercials from Internet radio platforms. (The answer was Yes, by about six to four.)

Then there was a funny (at the time) incident when iTunes Radio itself banned an advertiser (music service Bloom.FM), citing a policy against competitive advertising. People at Bloom chuckled over the free publicity, but stopped laughing a month later when the company’s investors pulled out and the service closed.

All this was brought to mind during our ad-stalking this week when we spotted Google Play advertising on Pandora. “Try unlimited music. First 30 days on us.” The name of Google’s unlimited-listening service, Google Play Music All Access, was not mentioned in the banner, perhaps that cumbersome name is too embarrassing to promote. Still, the Get Started call to cation pulls the listener right out of Pandora into a competing service.

Brad Hill