Pandora Expands to 37th City in Local Ad Sales Push

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First Avenue photographed on May 22, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Internet radio giant Pandora has an old-school way of attracting local advertisers. It's called local offices. Since 2012, the Oakland-based company has been operating small sales teams in cities around the country in an effort to land new contracts from local businesses. The tally is up to 37 cities now with the entry of an office in Minneapolis, the country's 16th-largest radio market.

A Twin Cities sales office makes sense: Minnesota boasts 17 companies on the Fortune 500, including Target and Best Buy, which already advertise on Pandora. The Star Tribune reports that about 20 employees will work out of a 5,000-square-foot space in the IDS Center, the state's tallest building at a height of 792 feet.

"There's something about having someone who is in your city," regional vp Jeff Mikitka told the paper. "You're not flying in to meet with people. You are walking across the street to meet with people. That makes a significant difference. We've seen that everywhere we've gone across the country."

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As reported in July, Pandora’s second-quarter revenue totaled $285.6 million, a 30-percent increase year over year. Ad revenue was $230.9 million, also a 30-percent bump, with local advertising accounting for $58.9 million, a 67 percent improvement.