Pandora is under pressure to energize revenues, and that is sparking a number of big-name sponsorship deals.
Just recently, Pandora roped Best Buy and Beck’s Beer into its iPhone application, a nice template for future takers. Other partners include HP, Microsoft, Honda, Procter and Gamble, and Nike.
The list also includes McDonald’s, which is currently advertising its McRib sandwich within Pandora. As part of its “McRib Farewell Tour,” McDonald’s is geo-targeting ads to users in Texas, Kentucky, Missouri, and North Carolina. The campaign includes a skinned tuner, and a range of McRib-inspired stations.
Actually, McDonald’s has been in the mix since early 2007, though Pandora has been struggling with the best ways to integrate its mass-market companion. In a January, 2007 blog, Pandora executive Tom Conrad described initial reactions to “brought to you by” McDonald’s audio inserts that reached roughly one-hundred thousand listeners. “The reactions ran the gamut from muted concern to strong condemnation,” Conrad described.