Pandora partners with Peet’s; we speak with Pandora marketing chief

The "Jazz Giants" station in Pandora, curated and branded by Peet's

The “Jazz Giants” station in Pandora, curated and branded by Peet’s

Pandora has struck a partnership with Peet’s Coffee & Tea, in a new kind of deal for the market-leading Internet radio service. Peet’s is partnering with Pandora to bring four branded, hand-curated stations to Pandora to play continuously in its almost 300 stores nationwide.

“This is the first time we’ve done something with a retail brand and brought the Pandora music solution out of Pandora, into a retail space. It’s unique.” –Simon Fleming-Wood, Chief marketing Office, Pandora

Pandora has partnered with outside brands in the past. In a discussion with RAIN, marketing chief Simon Fleming-Wood mentioned deals with CBS and NBC. But the Peet’s deal is Pandora’s first brand extension into retail. Peet’s will promote the stations with in-store signage, so customers know that they are listening to a custom Pandora experience programmed by Peet’s.

The key branding message for Peet’s is “Carefully Crafted,” which the company applies to its coffee/tea drinks, and now its music stations. “Their goal is to enhance the customer service in the stores through music and through this partnership,” Fleming-Wood told RAIN. “In addition, they want to promote these custom stations. Their hope is that customers will add these stations in Pandora, from home, and keep that connection to Peet’s.”

Peet’s is providing four curated Pandora stations: Eclectic Classical, Jazz Giants, Origins, and Melodic Indie. Each is managed by a “Peetnik” (Peet’s employee) Patrick Main, a product quality manager and part-time musician.

In Pandora, the Peet’s stations have limited interactivity. Listeners can skip songs, but cannot thumb-up or thumb-down songs. those thumb votes normally adjust the music Pandora plays in a user-generated station. In this case, all listeners get the same station.

The stations are continually branded with a Peet’s background (on the web) or a Peeet’s banner (in a mobile app). The partnership has a cooperative marketing emphasis, according to Fleming-Wood.  “We think of this as a marketing partnership. This is not a monetization effort from Pandora, or from Peet’s. This is an alignment of marketing objectives. This is not a monetization relationship for either side.”

Brad Hill