Pandora Acquires Digital Audio Ad Tech Platform AdsWizz For $145 Million

The move will improve Pandora's ad capabilities to better serve publishers and brands worldwide, according to CEO Robert Lynch.

Pandora has acquired AdsWizz — a digital audio ad tech company — for $145 million, in a move aimed at expanding Pandora’s ad capabilities for publishers and brands worldwide.

Pandora CEO Robert Lynch says that the acquisition is also about preparing for the “future of audio,” as voice and audio-based content have surged in popularity.

“Audio is the fastest growing format in digital advertising and… is rapidly evolving,” Lynch says. As the company strives to keep pace with the competition in an increasingly crowded marketplace, “Pandora [understands] the value that a sophisticated advertising platform can bring to everyone in digital audio.”

So, why is audio undergoing a renaissance in 2018?

Well perhaps, as Peter Weingard, CMO for WNYC radio, explained in late 2017, it’s because “by its nature, audio is very engaging. It leaves a lot of information off of the palette that is otherwise given to you in, say, video. You have to fill in the blanks in your mind to imagine, ‘What is the scene here?’ for example. And the fact that your brain has to engage with that content — [and potentially] speak back to it — makes you much more engaged with it overall. So it’s a very powerful combination.”

Additionally, per research from J. Walter Thompson and Mindshare released around the same time, voice and audio interaction has been proven cognitively simpler than text/swipe. After all, speaking and listening is the oldest means of conversation; the human mind is inherently designed for this type of interaction — far more than the artificial motion of swiping at a smartphone.

In any case, Pandora is ready for the “audio uptick” — and expects more moves toward advancement in the near future.

“Since I joined Pandora, I have highlighted ad tech as a key area of investment for us, Lynch concluded. “With our scale in audio advertising and AdsWizz’s tech expertise, we will create the largest digital audio advertising ecosystem, better serving global publishers and advertisers — while improving Pandora’s own monetization capabilities.”

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Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.