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Pandora Adds Audio Ads to Stream

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It was probably inevitable that Pandora would begin rolling out interstitial audio advertisements for its free customized Internet radio streams. And it was equally inevitable that the service would receive a bit of blogospheric backlash when it finally pulled the trigger.

The ads have actually been in play for a while now, but over the past few days they've increased in both the number of users targeted and the frequency with which they appear during the stream.

“We've actually been doing this off and on, for a long time," Pandora founder Tim Westergren told Appscout. “Not a lot of it, just a little bit at a time, but the last few weeks is really the first time we've seen it broadly dispersed."

The new audio advertisements, Westergren added, are part of a larger advertising campaign that includes interactive visual ads on both the Web and mobile version of the service. While audio advertising has popped up only on the Web thus far, the company is working on adding it to the mobile stream as well. Interestingly, the visual ads tend to have a much higher click-through rate on the mobile version of the app.

Westergren denied that the move had anything to do with the ongoing Capitol Hill royalty rate battle. “It's not really connected," he told us. “Whether we had that or not, we'd be doing this."

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This story appears courtesy of PC Magazine.
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