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RAIN 6/14: Pandora adds interactive display ads to iPad app

Posted on: 06/14/2010


Pandora, taking advantage of the larger screen space of Apple’s iPad, has added display ads to their iPad app. Starbucks, Lexus and Budweiser are the first advertisers to take advantage of the new feature.

When users click the ads — which appear in the bottom left of the screen — a new page opens (without interrupting music playback) with videos and other interactive features. Starbucks, for example, offers a personalized Pandora stream based on users’ favorite Frappuccino flavor. Pandora says its ad click-through rate is currently 3.4% and hopes such interactivity will improve that stat. The webcaster also plays audio ads and shows display advertisements in their web-based and iPhone player.

Pandora also said that 70% of mobile phone owners who have downloaded any app have downloaded Pandora — not too surprising, considering that Nielsen found that Pandora was, across the board, one of the top 5 smartphone apps (RAIN coverage here). Ad Age has more coverage here.


A group of public radio and TV groups have announced they will be building a digital distribution network to share content amongst websites, mobile apps, third party sites, blogs, widgets and more. American Public Media, NPR, PBS, Public Radio International (PRI) and the Public Radio Exchange (PRX) are leading the development of the Public Media Platform (PMP), though the content will be available to other organizations as well.

Via an API code, “the PMP will allow public media producers – and potentially others outside public media – to combine their content in a shared platform and make it available for a wide variety of public uses, from news sites to educational curricula,” according to the group’s press release. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has provided $1 million for the development of a prototype PMP over the next 6 months.


The bedside clock radio is getting a facelift in the form of Internet-connected devices like the Chumby and Sony Dash (pictured), writes The New York Times, with Internet radio along for the ride. Such devices (which we’ve covered in RAIN here, here and here) offer apps to stream Net radio, check Facebook, read breaking news and more. Insignia also jumped into the realm with their new Infocast device ($160). Like the Dash, it runs on Chumby apps and can stream Net radio (more here).

“It’s very valuable real estate,” said Sony VP Brennan Mullin of bedside electronics. “It is probably the last thing you see when you go to bed at night and the first thing you see in the morning.” The biggest competitor to such devices are smartphones, The New York Times writes, which happily include plenty of Net radio apps as well. Find the full article here.


Michigan venture capital firm Beringea has announced it’s investing in Livio Radio to help launch new products and fund sales and marketing efforts. “These funds will allow us to further expand our product offerings and maintain our leadership position in the digital audio market,” said Livio founder and CEO Jake Sigal. Terms of the investment were not disclosed. Livio produces tabletop Wi-Fi radios, including models capable of streaming Pandora channels and a special NPR model (RAIN coverage here and here). Find Beringea and Livio’s press release here.

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