With Pandora’s struggle to stay afloat in the news a lot lately, the idea that ads may make their way into its streams did not seem such an impossibility. While it was nice to listen to the company’s offerings free of advertisement, Pandora has come dangerously close several times to shutting down simply because it was running out of money.
Venture capital, especially in this economy, is only going to get you so far.
The ads at least for now are not that intrusive. They are 15-seconds in length, and are used sporadically. Chief exec Tim Westergren says they have actually been around for quite awhile, although in recent days their use has become much more widespread.
The ads only appear in the desktop stream, but ads for the mobile stream are in the works. It may be a good idea: for whatever reason, click-through rates are higher in Pandora’s mobile applications, the company says. They will be targeted based on a user’s profile.
Westergren seems to be trying to deny this has anything to do with its ongoing issues over royalty rates, which I have a hard time believing. If you know you’re going to be paying more for something, you’re going to try to make more more money to recoup your losses. That’s just common sense.