Pandora’s programmatic ad marketplace, powered by AdsWizz, launches out of beta

Pandora is taking the next step with its programmatic advertising strategy. After announcing the beta launch of a private programmatic marketplace in February, the audio company has now opened up the exchange to general buying.

“As the largest publisher of digital audio in the U.S., Pandora is uniquely equipped to meet the evolving needs of marketers now and in the future,” said John Trimble, Pandora’s chief revenue officer. “We’ve reached a significant tipping point in audio where automation, voice-activated technology and other innovations are bringing sweeping changes to the landscape — and as a result, the demand for effective programmatic audio is booming.”

Pandora’s programmatic audio marketplace is powered by the AudioMax Supply Side Platform from AdsWizz, which the company acquired earlier in 2018. The marketplace is the first official product integration of AdsWizz since the acquisition. Pandora pursued the deal for AdsWizz to better serve the growing interests for digital audio advertising. “The future of advertising is digital — personalized, targeted, more transparent in terms of what you’re getting, reach, and quality compared to traditional TV and radio channels,” Scott Walker, Pandora’s SVP of programmatic sales, told RAIN News about the purchase.

The beta phase of the Pandora marketplace focused on creating immediate scale for advertising partners. More than twenty brands participated during that period, including P&G, Gatorade, and Sony Pictures.

“Programmatic is a key reach vehicle and bringing digital audio into the mix is a great way to expand that reach,” said Craig Stimmel, leader for digital partnerships at P&G. “This addition will help take friction out of the system and enable real-time optimization so our brands can more easily find their consumers while delivering maximum returns.”

Gina Hardy, Head of Consumer & Athlete Engagement at Gatorade, evangelized the platform this way: “Marketers today can evoke an emotional connection with their audiences directly through sound. Thanks to the ability to access Pandora’s wealth of audio inventory, we’ve been able to tackle some of Gatorade’s most successful campaigns through programmatic buying and use quality audio ads to connect directly with our listeners while they enjoy the personalized music they love.”

Anna Washenko