Pandora To Sell Targeted Political Ads
-- Pandora has been criticized for not doing well enough with local advertising. Now the company has a new plan to deliver targeted, local ads to its listeners.
On Friday the personalized Internet radio company unveiled its plan to sell targeted political ads during the 2012 election season. The company will allow political advertisers to target voters by state, county, congressional district, metropolitan survey areas and designated market areas.
Political campaigns are a cash cow for advertising-driven businesses. Moody's expects 2012 political ad spending to grow 9-18 percent over 2010 levels. A 2010 US Supreme Court decision resulted in a rule change that eliminated caps on corporate and union spending in elections. And lots of political offices are up for grabs next year. In addition to the presidency, there will be elections for the entire House of Representatives, one-third of the Senate and 11 governorships.
Bearish analysts want to see the company generate more revenue per listener hour. BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield, who encourages investors to short Pandora stock, has argued that the company "needs to significantly increase advertising spots per hour" to offset downward pressure on CPMs due to growth in mobile usage. But targeted ads could have a similar effect without exposing listeners to more advertising spots. Geotargeted ads are more effective - and more valuable - than untargeted ads.
"With the 2012 political campaign season in full swing, advertisers realize that personalized, Internet radio is a powerful platform to reach a desired set of voters," chief revenue officer John Trimble said in a statement. "Pandora's new targeting features maximize effectiveness of ad spend that has historically been wasted reaching voters outside of election districts."
Pandora will release its third quarter results November 22. The earnings call will take place at 5pm ET. (Press release)
Court Rejects Joel Tenenbaum's Request for Another Hearing
-- Joel Tenenbaum will not get another chance to overturn his conviction of copyright infringement. Less than three weeks after Tenenbaum's legal team filed a petition for a rehearing of Sony BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, a federal appeals court has rejected the request. The court's decision leaves in place a $675,000 jury award. That award had been reduced to $67,5000 - the judge called it "oppressive" - and then reinstated by the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals panel of judges. The panel also instructed the lower court to give Sony the option of accepting the reduced award or submitting to a new trial. ( Reuters)
TuneUp Bundle a Hit
-- TuneUp has found some success with a special bundle it introduced in the Mac App Store this week. The $39.99 bundle gives the buyer a lifetime subscription, a 20-percent discount from the standard retail price. Since launch, TuneUp has become the Mac App Store's second highest-grossing music app behind GarageBand. The same bundle is available at TuneUpMedia.com.
The bundle includes the full suite of TuneUp features for enhancing iTunes -- things like cleaning missing or incorrectly labeled track titles and artist names, removing unwanted duplicate tracks, and filling in album art. These days the company is emphasizing the value of its product in the era of cloud music. After all, consumers who want to make their personal music collection accessible on cloud music services will benefit from having correct metadata.
John Wooler Joins PlayNetwork
-- PlayNetwork, creator of entertainment media experiences for brands, has hired John Wooler as vice president of music services. Wooler is a five time Grammy Award winning producer and former executive at Virgin Records. Prior to joining PlayNetwork, Hartmann was founder of FC Sonoma and a managing director for LexisNexis.