It’s a question hundreds of marketing leaders have undoubtedly asked over the past few years. There’s certainly a lot of appeal for advertisers to consider. Compared to those who do not, people who stream digital music are 70% more likely to describe brands as fun and 61% more likely to recommend brands to friends. Let’s explore the similarities, pros, and cons of the two streaming giants.


Both have large users bases, but the battle for digital streaming supremacy has led to many instances of conflicting information. Spotify recently announced that they had surpassed 100 million users, while Pandora states that they have 84 million monthly unique visitors. What is clear, is that both platforms allow brands to tap into a significant and diverse audience. Spotify users average 148 minutes of cross-platform listening each day, which equates to each user listening for roughly 70 hours per month across computers, mobile devices and tablets. On the contrary, Pandora claims that time-spent-listening on its platform is nearly half of the entire digital streaming market.


Pandora uses the Music Genome Project to deliver new music based on artist, genre, song or playlist preference. Spotify allows users to pick the music they want to listen to, create new playlists, discover new music, listen to playlists created by others, and share music with friends. To address the evolving desires of users and bridge the functionality gap with Spotify, Pandora is set to unveil an on-demand product on December 6, 2016. This will be something to keep an eye on, as it’s set to affect user experience and, likely, future advertising offerings.


Data derived from each platforms’ millions of users allows advertisers to hone in on their target audiences. Spotify and Pandora both allow advertisers to target users in three main ways: based on what they’re listening to, user demographics and how they listen. Advertising solutions for both platforms include a variety of inventory, ranging from audio spots to branded playlists, to sponsored listening sessions with no commercials. Spotify does, however, offer a more wide-ranging list of advertising offerings because of the more robust nature of the platform. If your brand has the budget to allocate to digital streaming in any capacity, the advertising solutions are really quite good, and your brand is often getting 100% share of voice at the point of engagement.


As with most media forms, there is a minimum price threshold that must be cleared. Spotify requires more of a monetary commitment than Pandora, so the size of your budget will play a large role in determining which platform is worthy of your marketing dollars.


Music is a passion point for nearly everybody. When your brand chooses to advertise on either Pandora or Spotify, you’re occupying a special place of emotional connection for people. This underlying fact creates an opportunity for impactful advertising that forms a brand connection beyond the immediate ad spot.



If your organization is interested in learning more about digital streaming platforms or is considering adding them to your marketing mix, we’re happy to discuss the pros and cons of the options available to you.




Spotify for Brands

Pandora for Brands