Ad Environment Matters for Message Receptivity 

According to a 2020 Statista survey1, the average American has access to more than 10 connected devices in their households. Digital connectivity and accessibility will continue to ramp up with continued adoption of voice assistant devices, hearables on the technological horizon, and the arrival of 5G.  Meanwhile, consumer demand for content creation has never been stronger.  2020 has brought a massive influx of content creation and Americans are consuming it as fast as it’s created across more devices than ever before. 

This provides new and exciting opportunities for pharma marketers, while also creating a challenge in keeping up with consumer behaviors. In addition, determining which environments provide good efficacy for a brand’s message is now a lot more complicated. Ad environment matters. Message receptivity depends upon the degree to which a group of consumers is engaged with the media that they’re consuming.  Given the phenomenon of second and third screening while watching television (over 70% over adults use a second screen while watching television)2, engagement in today’s attention economy is more difficult to find. 

Edison research fielded a study to measure any differences in aided and unaided brand recall and awareness for a branded pharma ad within 2 different environments; Pandora’s personalized streaming audio environment, and television.  The study focused on a branded audio (for Pandora) versus a branded video ad (in a television environment). The same RX brand was used for both studies, and an existing audio and video asset was utilized in both environments. (Note: see study methodology in sourcing of this article).  


The Edison research found that the Pandora audience had much higher unaided brand awareness of the drug.

For Pandora:  

  • 1 in 3 could recall the drug brand that was advertised by name (24% more than TV)
  • 50% more likely to be able to recall that the ad they heard was for medication (compared to the TV group)
  • 3X more likely than TV group to be able to identify the condition that the drug brand treated.




The research found that Pandora’s audience also had higher aided brand recall: 

  • More than HALF (56%) of listeners correctly identified or remembered the advertised drug brand treated, compared to just 39% of exposed TV viewers.

Pandora listeners in the test were also more likely to say that they had a more favorable opinion of the drug brand after hearing the ad:

  • 35% said their opinion was more favorable after hearing the ad (compared to 30% of TV viewers after seeing the ad).


The Edison study found that Pandora’s audience was more likely to take action based on the pharma ads that they hear. 

Pandora’s listeners were:

  • 47% more likely than TV viewers to say that they would talk to someone they know with the condition about the drug they heard advertised (versus TV viewers seeing same brand’s video ad)

Edison also asked about general actions taken after hearing or seeing a branded drug ad among both control and test respondents (unconnected to the ad experiment).  

Edison found that:

  • 1 in 3 Pandora listeners were likely to research or seek more information about the drug (20% higher than TV viewers)
  • 1 in 3 Pandora listeners have talked to their doctor about a drug they’ve heard advertised (30% higher than TV viewers)



Close to two-thirds of Pandora listers make healthcare decisions for others, which is a 26% greater likelihood than the TV viewers. 

Considering Pandora listeners’ likelihood to take action based on branded drug ads, and the influence they have on health decisions for others, a pharma message can be greatly amplified through Pandora.  

Further, this Edison study shows that a drug in a personalized streaming audio environment like Pandora is much more likely to be recalled.  Lower ad loads, less ad clutter and more personalized environment increases efficacy and leads to greater ad receptivity.  Pandora can be an incredibly effective vehicle for pharma marketers.  

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Sources: 1. Statista Survey, Average Number of Connected Devices Residents Have Access to in Residence, 2020; eMarketer, 2020; Edison Study Methodology as follows:  Edison Research conducted a total of 2,076 total online interviews among adults 25-54.  Respondents were divided into two groups:1,019 online interviews conducted among those who had reported listening to Pandora’s ad-supported service in the last week. 1,057 online interviews conducted among those who had reported watching television programming, either through a cable/satellite provider or through a streaming service, with at least some commercials in the last week. Pandora respondents were weighted to match the sex, age, and ethnicity of weekly Pandora listeners from Infinite Dial 2019. TV respondents were weighted to match the sex, age, and ethnicity of the U.S. online population.  Test respondents were given a simulated listening/viewing experience that exposed them to the Pharmaceutical ad.  Weekly Pandora listeners in the Test group (n=509) heard an audio clip playing music that they indicated they liked; in the middle of the clip, they heard the drug ad.,  Weekly TV viewers in the Test group (n=528) watched a news segment. In the middle of the video segment, they saw 5 ads, including the drug ad.  All test respondents were asked questions about awareness of, perceptions of, and interest in the drug that was advertised. Both the Audio and Video ads were for the same branded DTC drug, and both were :45s in length.  Control respondents were not exposed to the drug ad (n=510 Pandora listeners, n=529 TV viewers). They were asked questions about awareness of, perceptions of, and interest in the drug.

​​​​​​Pandora is the largest music streaming service in the United States. Pandora reaches 45% of all Americans each month, and 89% of that audience is addressable with ads. Best in class targeting across device, geography, gender, age and 3,500+ targeted audience segments, including HIPAA compliant audiences ensures that marketers reach their precise audiences. Pandora has helped thousands of pharma and healthcare marketers across the country deliver targeted messaging to qualified audiences at scale.

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