Fueled by a 4.7 million dollar investment, the music streaming site Songza is planning to scale its native advertising platform called “Branded Moments.”
The program allows brands to sponsor playlists designed for activities such as working out or driving. For example, the service recently featured branded playlists like “Going Back to College by Samsung” and “Getting Hyped with Taco Bell.” After a year of development, the music streaming service launched Branded Moments earlier this summer and has already attracted several big name advertisers.
In Canada, where the streaming service launched in August 2012, Mr. Clean, Vitaminwater, Telus and Okanagan Spring have run Branded Moments campaigns.
The latest round of investment, announced by the company Tuesday, comes from a diverse group of companies including Amazon.com, William Morris Endeavor and Lady Gaga’s manager Troy Carter. These investors will help the company grow the native ad program, according to Songza CEO and co-founder Elias Roman.
Roman said Songza plans to add staff in ad operations and sales, and recently hired its first brand strategist. In the past year the company, which competes in Canada with online music services like Rdio and CBC Music, has grown from a team of six to 27 employees.
Though it’s making a big bet on native advertising, Songza also offers a variety of other ad formats including pre-roll video and traditional banner ads.
“Native advertising helps brands immediately improve what the user is doing at that moment, from community to exercising to napping – whatever is relevant for the brand – to prove they know what the customer wants and can deliver on it,” Roman told Marketing. “With that proof in place, the users are more likely to believe, remember and engage with the traditional, more transactional ads.”
“The native ad is the great first date. The traditional ad is the, ‘Can I get your number?'”