NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Investors continue to turn misconceptions into memes when attempting to discuss the interrelated new media and mobile landscapes.
Pandora's (P) first-quarter 2013 results and conference call should help dispel myths and alleviate concerns over not only Pandora's ability to effectively monetize mobile usage, but Facebook's (FB) as well. In fact, I expect Pandora to, at least in part, help open the door for Facebook to a considerable number of prospective mobile advertisers.
How Pandora Does Mobile
Pandora Chairman and CEO Joe Kennedy did an excellent job explaining his company's general trajectory, with a focus on mobile.
First, Kennedy discussed two trends the company considers crucial to monetizing its multiple platforms:
- It is cross-platform, as in its users listen in desktop and various types of mobile environments;
- It can target advertising to users on the basis of age, gender, geographic location and musical taste;
- It sells advertising in a medium - radio - where consumers expect to hear it and accept it;
- And it has what Kennedy called a "virtual real estate" advantage.
And, because Pandora provides "auditory" content, it has an unusually large amount of space to display ads. Kennedy contrasts this with other platforms that rely primarily on visual content. In these situations, space for advertising must compete with space for content. He called this expanded "virtual real estate" the "Pandora advantage." Kennedy stressed that because Pandora only "serves video ads" after a user interacts with the platform, it can guarantee advertisers a focused prospect. I often quote author Haruki Murakami after laying something like this out in such methodical fashion: If you can't understand it without an explanation, you can't understand it with an explanation. But, I provided one anyway, because that's my job.
Why Pandora's Mobile Success Could Help FacebookKennedy could not talk enough about Pandora's progress and ongoing plans to disrupt radio and capture more and more of the industry's $17 billion advertising market. I am not certain that investors fully comprehend the magnitude of what this company is doing and is about to do to radio sales.
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