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Pandora launches two new “Thumbs” playlists, one of them for SiriusXM broadcast

In an example of SiriusXM’s cross-platform strategies, the satellite company will broadcast one of Pandora’s new weekly “Thumb” playlists. Alongside that announcement Pandora is also pushing a top-100 playlist to be refreshed each week. A “Thumb” playlist is informed by Pandora users’ thumb-up actions on individual tracks. The company takes the entire thumb-up database across all listeners during the week, and makes a top-100 list out of it. Using the same method, a top-20 list is also manufactured and is broadcast on the Pandora Now channel on siriusXM. Continue Reading

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SiriusXM: Streaming, acquisitions, and the uncertainty of podcasting

In its recent Q2 earnings call, Sirius XM discussed streaming, its multiple acquisitions, and podcasting in some detail. Remarks about podcasting are quite interesting, somewhat shading the industry as young and largely immature, while evangelizing the production and marketing power of SiriusXM. Click through for many quotes. Continue Reading

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Pandora adds podcast controls to Alexa skill

Pandora is announcing that its Alexa “skill” set now includes podcast listening and controls. In addition to the basic hook-up between Alexa and Pandora’s podcasts, the new skill set includes a request for a specific episode (“Alexa, play the latest episode of Ted Talks Daily”), requesting an episode by topic (“Alexa, play the Ted Talks Daily episode about procrastination”) and using playback controls for hands-free podcast control while in the skill. Continue Reading

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Pandora puts interactive voice ads into beta

“Voice-activated tech is proliferating,” says Pandora, and the company has extended that aspect of digital lifestyle into responses to streaming audio ads. This week, Pandora is launching interactive Voice Ads to beta, following an alpha launch in December. The company asserts this as a first-to-market ad format in streaming audio, and the plan is to scale voice features to both listeners and select advertisers. Continue Reading

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Scripps sells Stitcher to SiriusXM: Confirmed by both companies

What was previously a Rumor Fact(ory) item is today finalized and confirmed: SiriusXM is buying Stitcher from Scripps. We received press releases from both SiriusXM (via the PR office of subsidiary Pandora) and E.W.Scripps. From Scripps, the news is about that company’s profitable investment in Stitcher over five years. for sirius, the vision gets big, fast, and the company isn’t shy about claiming preeminence in podcasting. Continue Reading

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Pandora enables podcast downloads — only for Plus and Premium users

In its latest app update, Pandora now offers offline listening to podcasts — in other words, downloading them. We had read that the feature was exclusive to subscribers, of which there are two tiers: Plus, and semi-interactive streaming service, and Premium, a fully interactive audio listening and collection service. We thought this limitation was unusual, and reached out to Pandora for confirmation, which we received. Click through for a perspective.
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April streaming flat from March; NPR’s COVID bump (Webcast Metrics)

Stream listening held steady in April compared to March (actually up by a fraction of a percent). The numbers come from Triton Digital’s Webcast Metrics Top 20 Ranker, and RAIN’s monthly tracking of the Ranker over 10+ years. The year-over-year view showed an unusually large 10% decline, due almost entirely to Pandora’s 14% drop in listenership during that span. Click through for the 10-year trendlines. Continue Reading

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SiriusXM buys Simplecast, pairs it with AdsWizz and connects it to Pandora

SiriusXM is hitting the nets this morning with a smart acquisition. The satellite radio and digital audio holding company is buying podcast host Simplecast. That’s the short story. The bigger picture is a full-on podcast distribution and monetization system for podcast creators at all levels. Continue Reading

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Pandora: survey results encourage advertisers during Covid-19; audio samples of streaming ads

The collapse of travel during the Covid-19 pandemic is discouraging to the tourism industry. But streaming giant Pandora is using consumer survey results to encourage advertisers to adjust their messaging in afeel-good, look-forward way. Click through for two streaming audio ads running on Pandora — from Costa Rica Tourism, and from Proctor & Gamble. Continue Reading