Mary Beth Garber Responds To Pandora Listening Hour Claims
April 6, 2012 at 4:47 AM (PT)
KATZ RADIO GROUP EVP/Radio Analysis And Insights MARY BETH GARBER is always quick to defend radio, and TODAY is no exception. After reading YESTERDAY's coverage (NET NEWS 4/5) of PANDORA's "listening hours," GARBER wrote to ALL ACCESS, "Let's take a closer look at their claims. Now, I am still confounded by how PANDORA comes up with its supposed share of 'total radio' listening (and they won't tell) or its billion hours of listening when nothing like that shows up in TRITON, but we will leave that aside for now."
Continues GARBER, "let's address these claims:
1. 'PANDORA has set more than 400 local advertising campaigns so far this year.' The average number just of local advertisers (not just campaigns -- advertisers can run many different campaigns -- a clever word game by PANDORA) in each of the top-10 radio markets in Q1 2011 was around 800. In mid-sized markets, it was around 275 to 300. If we aggregate just the mid-sized and major markets (since PANDORA is aggregating all of its local 'campaigns' from across the country), we're talking about tens of thousands of local advertisers. Even in just the top-10 markets, we'd be comparing about 8,000 local advertisers on radio to 400 local campaigns on PANDORA. Not exactly an inspiring comparison for PANDORA. But pretty remarkable ratios for Radio.
2. 'Local advertisers recognizing that PANDORA has an audience of more than 125 million registered users.' So what? Why should a local advertiser care about 125 million people NATIONALLY if they are LOCAL advertisers? Local advertisers care about how many people an ad vehicle reaches and connects with in their markets. Something Radio provides quite well, with an emotional connection that can't be matched by PANDORA, which is just an aggregation of personal playlists.
3. Locally pinpointed ad campaigns are not necessarily good. Especially if they are not combined with much broader reach ad campaigns. All of the leading auto dealers in LOS ANGELES (many of which are the leaders in the country) get a large percentage of their sales from well outside their immediate selling area. A pinpointed campaign would eliminate the possibility of those sales -- sales that account for about 40% of the sales for one of the leading dealerships in the country.
A pinpointed campaign based on zip codes of the registrants doesn’t help a business that is 9a to 6p or that does a lot of its business during the day. A very large portion of the people in the area during the day are people who WORK nearby, not who LIVE nearby. Your zip-code restricted message is going to people who have little or no opportunity to shop at your location.
Any media or marketing pro will tell you that there are many factors that influence awareness and intent to purchase. Peer and parental awareness and approval of a product/service have a major impact on sales potential. So if your friends haven't heard of it, they're not likely to support your intent to go to a given college. If you want to go to a college your parents haven't heard of -- it's difficult to get them to pay for it. Using Radio resolves that problem. Not only do you get terrific reach and results from the target audience, you generate support for the decisions from friends, acquaintances and parents.
Watch the spin. Read between the lines. Think about it. PANDORA provides lots of propaganda but little substance to celebrate."
A PANDORA spokesperson told ALL ACCESS, "we don't comment on what other people say about PANDORA."