Pandora is part of SiriusXM’s NFL 2020 coverage plan, and sponsor pitch

Continuing the cross-channel programming and monetization which has been part of the SiriusXM/Pandora merger from the start, a pR is circulating today which advertises the sponsorship opportunities around the upcoming NFL 2020 season, which will be assertively covered by both platforms. Pandora will carry some curated analysis originating on the SiriusXM NFL Channel, and also program game-time music playlists. Continue Reading

Pandora releases playlists to illustrate a connection of sound and color

In what should be a treat for synesthetes, Pandora has released seven interesting playlists intended to demonstrate a relationship between sound and color. Unsurprisingly to those who know of his work, Steve Keller (Sonic Strategy Director at Pandora) is involved  in the project and authored an explanatory blog post. Keller invokes Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky, who asserted that music and color could not be separated. Keller’s thesis is that Kandinsky wasn’t being metaphoric — there is a scientific basis to tyiong together these two sensual perceptions. Click through for a link to the playlists. Continue Reading

June webcast streaming was mixed; several upward trends within overall flatness

Stream listening in June was a mixed story: A lift of only one percent month-over-month for the entire cohort, but 12 brands experienced month-over-month gain of 5% or more. Steady leader Pandora, whose stream volume sways the entire report, was almost exactly flat from May to June. The second-ranked entity, iHeartRadio, enjoyed an upward spike of five percent. The percentage leader in June was AccuRadio, up 11%. Continue Reading

Google advances its programmatic audio buying tools

Google has raised its game in programmatic audio. Google’s broad digital advertising platform, Ad Manager, is getting audio programmatic for the first time. Additionally, Google’s DV360 is enhancing its existing tools. DV360 is the abbreviated brand name of Display & Video 360, formerly called DoubleClick. The systems stumbles over RSS feeds, perhaps slowing adoption ion podcasting, though independent distribution platforms like Spotify and Pandora work fine. Continue Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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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