Your playlist is no longer a politics-free zone.
Pandora, the Internet streaming music service, has announced that it will begin accepting political advertising. Facebook and Twitter already do.
Philip Bump, a strategist writing for the Atlantic, sees it as a no-brainer:
This could not have been a hard decision for the company. [Supreme Court decision] Citizens United has ensured that an already money-soaked process will see bushels more donors looking to invest where they can.
Because Pandora knows your zip code and music preferences, it can offer campaigns an incredibly targeted audience for their ads:
“With the 2012 political campaign season in full swing, advertisers realize that personalized, internet radio is a powerful platform to reach a desired set of voters,” Pandora chief revenue officer John Trimble said in a statement.
“Pandora’s new targeting features maximize effectiveness of ad spend that has historically been wasted reaching voters outside of election districts. Political, national and local advertisers all benefit from our scale, precision targeting and personalization to reach a passionate and engaged audience on Pandora.”
With the mountains of money expected to pour into the 2012 election season, organizations like Pandora are doing their part to help special interests part with their money.
How much money? Special interests will spend roughly $4.5 billion on campaign contributions and $3.5 billion on lobbying in 2012. Most of the money spent in elections goes to ad spending.
An unexpected upside to ending the corrupting problem of money in politics: Your Pandora playlist wouldn’t be served with a side of “I approve this message.”