In his latest blog on the Westwood One website, Chief Insights Officer Pierre Bouvard says, “Since two-thirds of Pandora’s listening occurs at home, Pandora suffers from “empty room syndrome.” The ads are on, but no one is there to hear them. Pandora has no idea if anyone is actually listening. They can send a message: “Are you still listening?” Bouvard says radio is more accountable since Nielsen Dairies and PPM’s report actual radio listening. AM/FM radio audiences are based on actual people that actually hear radio.
Bouvard writes that Nomura | Instinet Wall Street media analyst Anthony DiClemente commented, “The company plans to continue actively controlling listener hours (-5.6% YoY in 1Q to 5.21bn), as it optimizes timeouts for the least profitable audience cohorts.” Bouvard adds to that: “Super awesome. Pandora has a knob that controls listener hours! How much fake listening do we want? Optimize timeouts” means Pandora’s sends that, “Are you still listening?” message more often to demos they cannot sell to shut off and “timeout” listening. They cannot make a lot of money from demos no one wants (Boomers), so they dial down that fake listening.”