TechBytes with Tony Calzaretta, VP Design and Creative, Pandora

Tony Calzaretta VP Design and Creative at Pandora

Tony Calzaretta
VP Design and Creative, Pandora

Pandora has recently integrated with Snapchat to allows its users to access premium content. The use of rewarded video and Pandora’s Premium Access feature have led to an increase in engagement among Gen Z listeners. We spoke to Tony Calzaretta, VP Design and Creative, Pandora to understand the nuances of this burgeoning market.

Tell us about your role at Pandora and the team/technology you handle.

I run Pandora’s Listener Product Management and Product Design Teams. Listener product management teams are responsible for the front end listener experience — meaning, how Pandora listeners discover, find, play, manage, and personalize their listening experience. We also partner with our advertising and content product management teams to release new ad products and content experiences.

What are the core tenets of your technology for Snapchat advertising?

At its core, Pandora’s integration with Snapchat puts the consumer experience first, and it’s the first step in what we plan to be many integration touchpoints in the future.

By teaming up with Snapchat as a launch partner for Snap Kit, Pandora listeners can share their favorite songs directly with friends and family on Snapchat. This integration expands Pandora’s sharing capabilities and enhances music discovery while leveraging the vertical video format and the highly creative customization tools.

With Pandora’s Premium Access Takeover option, Snapchatters who receive a Pandora song card will be able to swipe to listen on-demand after watching a short 15-second video sponsored by an advertiser. This provides great value for media buyers, as the capability is rewarding to consumers.

Can you tell us more about Pandora’s Premium Access feature and how you are working with brand partners for this?

Pandora’s Premium Access is a unique feature that allows seamless access to a full on-demand Pandora Premium session. By simply watching a quick video ad, via our video plus product, Pandora users are rewarded with Premium access, meaning they can listen to any on-demand content they want — songs, albums, or playlists. At the end of their session, users roll back into our ad-supported free service.

We recently partnered with 20th Century Fox to promote its highly-anticipated film, “The Darkest Minds,” through Pandora’s Premium Access Takeover. This means that any Snapchatter who received a Pandora song card was able to swipe up and listen on-demand after watching a short 15-second video from Fox.

By granting listeners access to powerful Premium features, we’ve seen a paradigm shift in the way that users interact with ads and Video Plus in particular. While there is a perception of “rewarded video” being a product of the gaming industry, Premium Access is leveraging it in a completely new way. This allows digital ad buyers to tap into a video product with a broader audience, and with stronger efficiencies and engagement, all while building consumer sentiment.

What audio/video trends is this integration playing into?

We believe in the power of our Video Ad Product and are finding that consumers prefer and embrace ad-supported value exchange experiences, especially when those experiences lead to Premium content. Younger audiences are leading the demand for value exchange ads because they gravitate toward personalization and instant gratification. For Pandora, we saw a perfect alignment between Snap’s younger demographic that is tapping heavily into Premium Access to listen to on-demand content. On average we see that Gen Z listeners engage with Video Plus 33% more than any other age group.

Which markets and industries are best suited to benefit from your Snapchat integration?

The important thing to note with Snapchat and Pandora is that we’re expanding the experience for both user groups. We’re providing listeners with the ability to share the songs they love on Snapchat in a creative way that feels natural and intuitive.

All industries can benefit from the organic engagement and virality that the Snap Integration provides our Video Plus product. Imagine reaching consumers at the right time and right place: An ad hitting right where a user searches for a favorite song or swipes to listen to the new chart-topper shared by a friend. The product’s ability to capture buzz and excitement also helps hit on awareness KPIs, while the value exchange component drives engagement and views – making it suitable for almost any market.

What is your product roadmap for 2018-2020?

We rolled out our Snap integration to our Android audience on July 25, and we’ll continue to enhance the share feature and access to sharing on Pandora in late August. From there, we have some exciting Snap experiences in the pipeline that will expand the integration further on Pandora. We’re thrilled about the opportunity to engage with Snapchat users in a deeper way.

Thanks for chatting with us, Tony.

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