Pandora exec evangelizes ultra-short mobile spots

pandora sponsored listening fox 01Pandora’s Chief Revenue Officer John Trimble says that a mere eight seconds might be the perfect ad length for mobile video. “Looking ahead, I could envision video and audio ads as short as eight seconds being something advertisers and listeners will be interested in,” he said.

That statement is in the context of Pandora’s Sponsored Listening product, which lets the audio platform’s users watch a video ad that’s between 15 seconds and two-and-a-half minutes to unlock an hour of music ad-free. The feature rolled out last year, and Trimble said the product “has performed well thus far, and we are exploring various video formats on an ongoing basis.” According to AdWeek, the radio service isn’t going to imminently make a switch to a new ad length, but is considering a broader effort to reach the coveted young demographics.

One of the big challenges for advertisers, and for the online services wanting to sell ad time, is to be able to hook someone in a short enough time that they don’t lose attention. Different platforms currently have different time restrictions built in; for instance, social platform Vine only has six second clips, while on Instagram the videos are 15 seconds. The lack of consistency creates a second hurdle for advertisers, since they need to potentially invest in many different versions of a single spot that fit the various time spans.

Video is of great interest to brands and advertisers, so the trick for content platforms will be offering products that appeal both to them and to listeners.

Anna Washenko