Katz 360 Drops Pandora As A Client
WSJ: Westergren Charges 'Concerted Effort' To Marginalize Pandora
December 22, 2011 at 10:38 AM (PT)
In the latest repercussion following the furor over comparing and contrasting audience measurements of terrestrial radio and Internet radio, which led to ARBITRON's "clarification" of its planned total audience measurement service (NET NEWS, 12/19), digital ad sales firm KATZ 360 has notified PANDORA that it will stop selling ads for the online radio power. The WALL STREET JOURNAL reports that the move illustrates a growing friction between analog and online radio interests in their quest for advertising revenue.
In an e-mail to PANDORA, KATZ 360 Pres. BRIAN BENEDIK wrote: "Our core KATZ MEDIA GROUP broadcaster clients have demanded that we focus our KATZ 360 Online Audio efforts towards their Digital assets moving forward."
Added KATZ RADIO GROUP EVP/Analysis and Insight MARY BETH GARBER, "PANDORA was complementary to radio but as we tried to fit PANDORA's ad time into pitches, it become too cumbersome"
PANDORA recently commissioned EDISON RESEARCH to generate audience measurements from its servers about users into radio-like metrics, which led to speculation printed elsewhere that EDISON derided as completely false. Add that to ARBITRON's subsequent "clarification" of its total audience measurement efforts, and the online radio service believes something else afoot.
PANDORA founder TIM WESTERGREN told the WSJ that there's a "concerted effort" to keep PANDORA out of the radio industry and to marginalize it from being a credible competitor. "The broadcast industry does not want the world to know about us, basically," he asserted.
GARBER took issue with that, responding, "We don't want to keep PANDORA out of the industry and we are not afraid of them at all."
The JOURNAL cited a ZENITHOPTIMEDIA study that found that radio ad spending, which had been declining for several years, is expected to grow 2.1% this year to $16.3 billion. BORRELL ASSOCIATES predicts that advertisers are expected to spend just $550 million on online audio streaming ads, of which around $225 million will go to PANDORA.