Native advertising has been all the rage for some time in brandland, from sponsored BuzzFeed listicles to branded Vice videos. The streaming music world has been thinking about how to get brands to pay for ads that don’t look like ads too, though. Rdio unveiled its take on the idea this week, calling it Promoted Radio Experiences.
Partners – the first being Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos – will get their own programmed station on Rdio, as well as a profile on the service and a ‘story’ appearing in Rdio users’ news feeds. The company is pitching the new feature directly against Pandora and Spotify’s offerings for brands. “You don’t have the sort of profiles for brands on Pandora. If you look at a Spotify, they have an advertiser page which really is nothing more than an embedded microsite within their desktop player,” Rdio’s advertising boss Jared Heiman told AdWeek. “No one has these three core components packaged into one. This is a way for us to allow advertisers to dip into our catalogue.” No news as yet on how much Rdio is looking to charge – or whether ramping up its advertising will finally see the company make public some numbers about its growth.