Entries in pandora (10)
Pandora’s CEO Brian McAndrews was featured in an article in Business Insider. McAndrews conjugates a story about a music industry executive that spoke to an undergraduate class of students at one of the top universities in the country. He never mentioned who the executive was or what university; to me the story was just that, a story.
So you have a new track and you’re ready to release it. Great work! What’s your game plan?
There are many marketing avenues for you to map out before you’re ready to release, and each one is just as important as the next. In fact, it’s the decisions you make right now that will either launch your career to new heights, or simply simmer away into obscurity.
Out of the many avenues you are strategizing when it comes to launching your song, one you must consider spending some time on is the phenomenon of Playlisting - which simply refers to a list of songs compiled to represent a certain mood, genre, or event. Playlists are how music fans are discovering most of their new music these days, thanks to the current boom of streaming services like Spotify, Rdio, Deezer, Songza, and Pandora. In fact, Spotify users find, on average, 26 new artists a month through the platform. That’s pretty cool.
So you’re an independent recording artist, casting about everywhere you can for airplay and exposure. Pandora, the internet-radio service with the taste-smart music library, has just accepted one of your original recordings for rotation. Great, right? Pandora provides access to your music on one of the most talked-about music platforms out there. It’s a step in the right direction, a win.
Except it isn’t anymore.
Welcome back to the sixth of our seven-part interview series ‘Charting the Course: A Radio Promo Discussion’.
The purpose of this series is to explore the world of radio promo, with insights from 7 people who work in and outside of the realm of radio promo, but all of whom have dedicated themselves to advising independent musicians.
Yesterday we spoke with David Avery, President of Powderfinger Promotions.
Jango offers free Pandora-style internet radio. Type in an artist’s name and it generates a playlist of related songs. Jango Airplay lets artists buy their way into the recommendation engine, promising guaranteed airplay alongside your pick of big names.I’ve been running Jango campaigns pretty much continuously since the service launched in March of 2009. My songs have been played 270,000 times, 23% of which were unpaid “organic” plays. It cost me $1841.50 out of my own pocket, plus at least that much in affiliate earnings from my previous articles on the topic. What’s my return on that investment? There’s no way to know. Jango reports 25,000 likes and 9800 fans, but those terms have little meaning. A like on Jango is a simple thumbs-up that has nothing to do with Facebook, and most of those “fans” are unreachable. An average of one email address per day has been shared with me since that feature launched in early 2010, but those 700 email addresses alone don’t justify the expense. The reason I stick with it is because I’ve seen so many Jango listeners become genuine fans. They friend me on Facebook, reply to my email updates, comment on my YouTube videos, and yes, buy my music. With the possible exception of Facebook Ads, I’m convinced Jango is the best passive promotion out there.
Allegedly, Pandora now controls 3.6% of radio listening. This is an impressive figure, but, to me, a disturbing one. We’ve all spent the last few years touting how the Internet has changed music distribution and flattened the playing field so that everyone has equal access to distribution. Traditional terrestrial radio, with ever-shrinking playlists that contain almost new music certainly aren’t designed to appeal to a future audience, they are designed to grasp onto a shrinking past audience.
One of the interesting aspects of the Rethink Music conference back in April was hearing MOG CEO David Hyman and (separately) Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy discuss the present and future of online music subscription services.
MOG is all about access. Outside of the usual holdouts, MOG’s catalog contains just about everything, including most of the releases on our Static Motor imprint. For fans, it makes for an intelligent (Echo Nest-driven) music discovery experience that seamlessly blends the mainstream and the independent. For artists, getting your music onto MOG is a cinch. As long as you’re distributed via an indie aggregator (CD Baby in our case) your music will soon pop up on MOG. For fans and artists alike, MOG is an excellent platform. Easy access for all, with top-notch audio quality to boot (and no ads!).
A different business with a very different model, Pandora certainly talks a similar talk, which is why I was struck when Joe Kennedy commented (paraphrasing):
Pandora is all about connecting people to new music.
One digital decade has ended and another has begun. Throughout these chaotic times, cloud-based music services have remained at the front of music industry discussions.
Are fans willing to pay a monthly fee to access unlimited music or will ownership carry on?
It has been argued that the era of à la carte music downloads is over – that the iTunes business model has been exhausted. Fans no longer desire to pay for each song or own them. Instead, they want to have access to everything for nothing – or, at least, a small fee.
Tech-companies like Spotify are betting that if they allow enough users to build music collections – for free – eventually, they will take ownership of their libraries and pay to access them through mobile devices. Meanwhile, rival services like Thumbplay Music, Rdio, and MOG offer limited to free trial periods. This raises a few important questions.
I used to think that when it came to listening to music, what I and everybody else wanted was simple. We wanted everything, now and forever, wherever we are. And if we enjoyed the process, we’ll pay for it too (honestly, we will). But this isn’t strictly the case.
Spotify Premium offers just this, but falters at one crucial point; it offers too much choice.
Choice Paralysis is that feeling of being offered everything at once, and not knowing what to choose. When every piece of music ever recorded is offered on a plate, solving the problem of what to choose is a pleasure for myself and many others (if you’re spending the time to read a music blog, that probably includes you).
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(Updated January 13, 2016)