Clear Channel/Katz Secures Strategic Sales Deal With Pandora
August 3, 2009 at 11:29 AM (PT)
PANDORA MEDIA and KATZ 360 SALES’ KATZ ONLINE NETWORK have consummated a strategic agreement in which KATZ will represent a significant portion of PANDORA’s digital audio advertising inventory, combining the #1 Internet radio site with the leading online audio sales network in the country.
PANDORA’s ad revenue has grown exponentially over the past few years, with audio ad sales a key contributor of late. To build upon that sales momentum, the company hopes to broaden its reach into the audio ad marketplace via The KATZ ONLINE NETWORK, which also represents pure-play webcasters such as ACCURADIO.COM, DIGITALLY IMPORTED, RADIOIO and 977MUSIC.COm, among others.
"As a result of the high interest on the radio ad sales front since launching only six months ago, we've engaged KATZ 360 to represent us in our uncovered territories," PANDORA Dir./Audio Sales DOUG STERNE said. "Interest in PANDORA’s unique ad platform certainly extends beyond those key markets such as NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES, so bringing the KATZ 360 team onboard allows us to engage a wider array of radio advertisers. We're looking forward to a highly collaborative and productive working relationship."
"I couldn't be more excited to reach this agreement with PANDORA, as national advertisers in PANDORA’s uncovered territories will now have access to the highly attractive demographics of the PANDORA listener, combined with the best online audio content of the KATZ ONLINE NETWORK,” KATZ 360 Pres. BRIAN BENEDIK said. "The addition of PANDORA will allow us to make even greater strides in working with national advertisers to create strategic, geo-targeted ad campaigns that can be customized to any advertiser’s needs."
"What this provides is a way to scale our ad-sales effort immediately," PANDORA founder TIM WESTERGREN told ADAGE.COM. "When you grow as fast as we have this quickly, your inventory gets ahead of you. Plugging into an endemic, national network of sellers is a great point of leverage for a company like PANDORA that is experiencing hypergrowth. Over time, as we grow into our shoes, this relationship will naturally evolve."
AD AGE writes that "natural evolution could include a content partnership, rumors of which have been surfacing in the year since CLEAR CHANNEL launched IHEARTRADIO, a streaming radio site and mobile application that has helped the company amass 22 million unique listeners to its web properties and more than 2 million mobile downloads."
WESTERGREN said the KATZ partnership is "really about ad sales, nothing more."
That's important for PANDORA, which is a fiercly independent organization. one source observed, "They would make strange bedfellows," when discussing the sharing of content between PANDORA and CLEAR CHANNEL.
A Sign Of Things To Come?
"It proves the market in a way we always thought it would be valued," said TARGETSPOT Co-Pres./Sales ERIC RONNING. TARGETSPOT sells inventory for CBS RADIO, YAHOO, SLACKER and others. "Clearly it's a statement that working with traditional radio contracts and escalating radio's growth through those who already understand radio is an excellent way to grow the radio market and radio as a whole."
CLEAR CHANNEL Pres./Global Media Sales JOHN PARTILLA told AD AGE the deal is an "unprecedented opportunity for CMOs and brand managers. Only CLEAR CHANNEL RADIO could assemble this kind of reach, engagement and flexibility. And no one else delivers this kind of complete transparency of impression delivery to forward-thinking marketers."