First, there was news that DISH and DirecTV would be rolling out a service allowing campaigns to target individual homes with advertising. Now the Pandora music streaming service promises an offering that allows ads that zero in on users based on likely political leanings.
Users don’t register their political affiliation with Pandora, so how do they do it? They use some behavioral analysis to make an estimate of the political preferences in specific zip codes. Then they layer in music preferences. Listen to country? Probably GOP. Lots of electronic? Probably Democratic. Of course, they also use more traditional metrics, like looking at “the distribution of political party voting in prior elections within those counties.”
As entertainment companies search for more revenue streams, we’ll likely see more offerings like this. The Pandora product seems a bit simplistic, but time will tell.