Starting today, radio listeners and those on Pandora Plus can unlock an on-demand listening session if they watch a 15-second video advertisement. Depending on the advertiser, the videos can be up to 30 seconds in length, though you can skip the video ad after 15 seconds are up.
To clarify, you don’t have to pay to use Pandora, but choosing the free tier means you can only create personalized stations. Plus, which costs $5 each month, lets you create an unlimited number of stations and save four of those stations for offline listening, as well as eliminates all ads and allows for unlimited skips and replays. However, Pandora Plus doesn’t let you listen to search and play for any song — that is reserved for the $10-a-month Pandora Premium.
Talking to TechCrunch, Pandora says each on-demand listening session will “last longer than just a song or two,” though the service is testing sessions that last 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and an hour. The service also says that there are no ads during these sessions, but if you search for new content within the Pandora app or click a link for an album or track on an email or webpage, you will need to watch a video ad before it can be played.
Once an on-demand listening session is up, folks can opt to watch another video ad to continue. It’s an interesting strategy, one that is meant to convert folks into Premium users. According to TechCrunch, the majority of Pandora’s revenue comes from its ad business, so it makes sense for the service to rely on advertising to help make that conversion while.
According to Pandora chief product officer Chris Phillips, this strategy is beneficial for artists and advertisers alike:
For artists, it creates new avenues of promotion by providing fans with direct links to play their music. For advertisers, it offers new ways for brands to build trust and create value for their audience.
Pandora says that on-demand listening sessions are currently rolling out to ad-supported and Plus listeners on iOS and Android. If you want to give Pandora a whirl, you can do so at the link below.