Pandora Launches Beta of Brand-Curated Stations

Pandora has announced the beta launch of 'Promoted Stations,' a way for the service to better serve advertisers by providing users with a custom-curated stations from brands.

The beta, available to 10% of users initially, is the "first time Pandora has monetized their station list in a native way," according to a representative.

Initial brand partners include Sketchers (highlighted below), Toyota, Taco Bell, Bacardi and six others.

Pandora will be able to provide advertisers with deep, granular analytics of how far their marketing dollars are going. We've got the registration data -- age, geo, gender -- and additional data sources such as what device you're using, what platform, are you adding stations -- all that behavioral data," Heidi Browning, the company's VP of strategic solutions, told Billboard in March. "From that, we can tell our audience story for advertisers who want to understand the consumer mindset. We can really create a mosaic of a listener or consumer at any time of the day, and help them understand how we're interacting with our devices."

The tactics appear to be working; Pandora's revenue was up 52% in the first quarter of 2014, bringing in $200.4 million. The company was responsible for 8.6% of all radio listening in the U.S. during the quarter.

"Artists are interested in being connected to brands just as much as brands are interested in being connected to artists," Browning told us. Time will tell as to whether listeners feel the same way.