December 06, 2008

Pandora's iPhone success - showing a path to an ad-supported, mobile music future Image by via CrunchBase Some readers may recall that the very existence of Pandora, one of the biggest next-generation, personalized digital radio platforms was recently seriously endangered by the threat of having to pay outlandish and retroactive music licensing fees right after having been kicked out of Europe (also for similarly bizarre licensing reasons). Now, thankfully, a report reveals that Pandora has gained an even bigger (albeit only U.S.-based) audience by launching a free iPhone application that is, you guessed it, entirely supported by some apparently quite smart advertising. I wish I could see for myself but since I am in beautiful Switzerland I have been barred from the pleasures of Pandora - after all, why would the music licensing organizations even bother with Pandora's international users... right? But anyway, what is so great to hear (see the press release) is that ad-supported music seems to work so very much better on the iPhone (and soon, many other mobile devices, I would hope) than it does on the good old computer - this, I think, holds great potential for the future of ad-supported, free or feels like free + freemium content on mobile devices. First music, then films / TV, then books (and games.... yes, of course: already there!) A quote from the press release (December 4, 2008) sums it up very nicely (even if we remove the few instances of PR hype): "Since September 22, when Pandora began marketing its iPhone platform to marketers, it's had a steady queue of the biggest national brands anxious to deliver their ad messages to iPhone mobile users with Pandora as the conduit. The first advertisers to launch on Pandora's iPhone application were Best Buy and Beck's, followed by a list of other top tier brands such as Target, HP, Nike and Kraft...

Gerd Leonhard

Keynote Speaker, Think-Tank Leader, Futurist, Author & Strategist, Idea Curator, some say Iconoclast | Heretic, CEO TheFuturesAgency, Visiting Prof FDC Brazil, Green Futurist

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