By Evan DeSimone
Streaming music service Pandora is the latest audio-focused platform to enter the mobile video arms race with the announcement that it will be begin offering direct-response mobile video to subscribers.
Launched in 2000 as a music streaming and recommendation service, Pandora currently boasts 80 million active users, more than 75% of whom listen primarily on mobile devices. In a quest to acquire more users and keep its existing user base engaged in longer listening sessions, Pandora will begin serving up mobile video content to supplement its extensive library of song tracks.
Pandora isn’t the first streaming music outlet to toy with the idea of mobile video. The company’s chief competitor, Spotify, rolled out its own video announcement back in May. The collision of online video and streaming music is nowhere more evident than in YouTube’s Music Key, the long-awaited streaming product that is expected to leverage YouTube’s massive library of original music videos and fan inspired covers to take on Spotify and Pandora in the music market.
The addition of video gives Pandora a richer space to offer up to advertisers, who until now had to make due with interstitial audio ads slipped in between tracks. The move, which will be a major change for Pandora, will roll out slowly. Pandora is currently engaged in a testing period during which it will determine the appropriate amount of its resources to allocate to video.