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Personalized mobile services yield highest user engagement: Pandora exec

NEW YORK ? A Pandora executive at the MMA SM2 Innovation Summit 2016 revealed that the music streaming platform?s most personalized service is its most popular one, indicating that customized business models are most likely to grab a consumer?s attention, and later, business.

During the session, ?Next Big Disrupter: Gen Z,? the executive highlighted key behaviors and preferences exhibited by Generation Z consumers and suggested ways in which brands can effectively market to this highly coveted demographic. Teens and millennials actively want marketers to offer personalized services that encompass three pivotal aspects ? attention, emotion and action.

?We believe that the next big disrupter is not a what, it?s a who,? said Heidi Browning, senior vice president of strategic solutions at Pandora.  ?For Pandora, understanding Generation Z is paramount because we need to future-proof our business in the same way you do in your marketing roles.?

The new digital native
Pandora studied at the billions of data points it receives on a daily basis to better understand the habits and preferences of a typical Generation Z individual.

?They are truly digital natives,? Ms. Browning said. ?Millennials actually adopted technology early in their lifetimes, but Generation Zers have been pinching and swiping their screens essentially since they came out of their wombs.?

Consumers belonging to this demographic are wholly focused on understanding the future of what is occurring around them, as they have been wired to think this way since infancy.

Their ability to filter content at warp speed has resulted in a rewiring of the brain ? which has also culminated in the average attention span decreasing from eight seconds to four seconds.

Other insights discovered by Pandora may be useful for marketers considering taking out ad space on music streaming platforms.

Twenty percent of teens spend more than seven hours a day with earbuds on, tuning into music and video content. Eighty-seven percent of these teens listen to Pandora with their earbuds, while 76 percent and 70 percent listen to YouTube and watch streaming television, respectively.

Pandora also sought to uncover what role music plays in a teen?s average day. The streaming service found that 87 percent listen to music while doing homework, 76 percent listen to it while texting and 55 percent enjoy music while eating.

This suggests that food and beverage marketers geared toward younger audiences may want to invest in audio advertising spots to run on streaming platforms.

These consumers also respond well to personalized content.

?We know about the power of personalization,? Ms. Browning said. ?This is really key for this generation.

?This generation is going to reward you with attention, time and their business if you do a little work to understand who they are.?

Pandora and personalization
Ms. Browning also revealed that Thumbprint Radio ? a station that compiles Pandora users? thumbed-up songs into one cohesive playlist ? is the streaming platform?s most popular station, lending credence to the power of personalization.

Brands that want to capitalize on this shift toward customized services should take three key aspects into consideration when devising tactics to win Generation Z individuals? time and consideration.

Marketers must demonstrate that they understand the consumer, employ emotion and offer an action that listens and empowers each person.

Many brands have already taken advantage of advertising opportunities on Pandora, some of which have seen fruitful results.

This past summer, Express and Lexus Dealer Association beta tested muted mobile video ads and a new native mobile display canvas on Pandora, which wants to deliver more compelling ad experiences for listeners while helping brands look beyond impressions (see story).

Additionally, Land Rover North America was one of the first brands to leverage Pandora?s Sponsored Listening advertising feature, which saw lifts of 30 percent for purchase intent and 12 percent for brand awareness during the testing period (see story).

?This generation has vast social networks, intimate and global,? Ms. Browning said. ?They actually dream and they put those dreams into action.

?For us as marketers, it?s important to understand what makes them tick, what?s in their psyche.?