Pandora Deal Brings Big-Name Advertisers to iPad App

In the latest sign that blue-chip advertisers don’t need convincing of the iPad’s viability, Starbucks, Budweiser and Lexus have all signed as sponsors of Pandora’s app for Apple’s tablet computer.

Pandora, a free streaming-music service that creates playlists for users based on a single song or artist, said that the three brands would be the first to advertise on its new iPad app.

Starbucks involvement with the app will be an extension of its “However-You-Want-It Frappucino” campaign already running on Pandora’s other platforms, which include the Web and mobile phones. The coffee company asks users to name their favorite beverage, and then generates a playlist to accompany it.

Budweiser will be the exclusive sponsor of the app’s festivals page, and will bring its Bud Light Lime summer-themed stations- already available on other Pandora platforms – to the iPad as well. The deal with Pandora is “a great opportunity for us to interact with adult music enthusiasts utilizing the latest mobile technology,” Mark Wright, VP of media, sponsorship and activation at Anheuser-Busch, said in a written statement.

Lexus will be the app’s exclusive automotive sponsor. In a departure from the other initial advertisers, the car manufacturer will be running a 30-second spot titled “Pitch” rather than offer a playlist.

John Trimble, chief revenue officer of Pandora, said that Pandora’s initial advertisers have been “very excited” to buy space on the iPad, as they are “very impressed with the adoption levels” since it was released in April. On May 31, Apple announced it had sold two million iPads in under two months.

Trimble declined to compare the price of advertising on Pandora’s iPad app to the price of advertising on its other platforms. “We don’t really discuss pricing,” he said.

In order to smooth the process for advertisers looking to buy space on the iPad, the Interactive Advertising Bureau last week announced it was forming a task force to recommend standards and best practices.

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