Pandora is testing a new ad format, Sponsored Listening, which enables people to listen to an hour of ad-free music if they watch a video ad first. Fox and Sony PlayStation are the first brands to test it out, according to AdWeek, which says the new unit will make its debut within Pandora’s mobile apps before moving to the desktop, rather than the other way around. It’s very early days though: Sponsored Listening won’t open up to all brands until the second half of 2015. “In the past, there have been advertisers who said, ‘We’re looking for something big – a stunt,” Pandora’s VP of digital Lizzie Widhelm told AdWeek. “The difference in this product is we want to do it at scale. We want to make it available to all of our partners versus just a one-day stunt.” Pandora will be going head to head with Spotify here, though: the latter service is also testing a new ad unit called Sponsored Session, where brands run video ads which then give watching users 30 minutes of ad-free music. That’s also expected to open up to all brands in 2015, although likely earlier than Pandora’s new unit.

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