David Starfire sent me his latest album, and I’m digging it on a rainy Sunday afternoon. It’s been raining in the Bay area for more than a week, and everything is dismal. My family of four with a three-week old newborn is sick. It sucks when all of us are ill. It’s like the walking dead and grumpy. Thank god I have some good music to bring me back to life and shine happiness on us all. David’s sound has exotic themes and sounds with a cutting edge break keep me jazzed and piqued. It cleared up my sinuses too. Check it out below.

AMPcast logo

It’s a good day for artists on Pandora. Today, my Music Maker team at Pandora released an exciting new product called AMPcast where artists can record a message on their mobile phone and send it through their Pandora app directly to their fans. AMPcast is part of the Artist Marketing Platform (AMP) that our awesome team manages at Pandora.

AMPcast lets artists craft more spontaneous, timely, and fun messages. They can attach an image from their phone to their audio message and place it before or after a specific song if they choose. One of the coolest things about this feature is the personal context that artists are giving to their music. Hearing the story and meaning of their songs in their own voice makes me appreciate their music more.

Artists can also use AMPcast to easily promote whatever is important to them. Each message can have a CTA link to click through to a tour announcement, a specific show, a new release, a boxed set, a friend’s creative project, a personal/social/political cause, or just about anything they care about. Since these messages are authentic and coming directly from the artists, it doesn’t feel like an interruption or an ad, but rather an enhancement to the way I’m connecting to the artists’ music. The fan engagement of AMPcast artist messages are also off the charts – orders of magnitude on a completely different level than an ad with click-throughs as high as 18% for new music releases and close to 10% on tours and show announcements. See the press-release for more details. As artists capture their fans genuine interest with these messages, they will be able to materially impact their bottom line with this level of fan interest.

AMPcast is groundbreaking and unique to Pandora. It’s particularly exciting given the massive number of artist-to-fan connections in Pandora. There have been over 65 Billion Thumbs on songs from Pandora listeners to date, and each one is a preference statement that lets us target the right artist message to the most interested fan. More than 100M active listeners tune into their favorite stations on Pandora every quarter and most of them are in the US. What better time to speak to a fan than when they’re listening to your music? It’s all about intent and context. Given the magnitude of Pandora’s audience, it’s no exaggeration to say that we’re building the most powerful Artist Marketing Platform on the planet, and there’s much more to come.

Check out the video here for AMPcast below, and if you’re interested in trying it out when the Beta is more widely available, sign up here.


Stumbled on a beautiful song, Light the Night by Tracey Chattaway. She composes wonderful, lush, cinematic soundscapes.The textures and layers to this joyous progression are sublime. I’ve been listening to it in the evenings frequently to unwind from an intense day. Sometimes I listen to a double dose when I need it. There some inspiring and highly motivational parts to this song. It’s a sweet instrumental that makes you feel like the night is indeed lighted. Well done Tracey Chattaway.

I saw a share from Hugh McIntyre on my Twitter feed. It was a video someone submitted to him on Fluence. It’s as a cool, trippy, chill tribute to Germany and Berlin. I dug the groove, vibe, and nature of the song. Timing is everything. I may have missed this interlude if I didn’t catch that share from Hugh. It makes me think we should have more ways in Fluence to surface up great tunes to more curators who would appreciate.

Germany Cradle Me…there’s a life inside you gave to me.

The imagery and soft tones of the video spoke to me. Maybe it got to me in the right frame of mind. I was just speaking about Berlin earlier in the evening with Nazlee at Beckie and Mark’s place in the Mission. My time in Berlin was special. I look forward to going there again. I hope you have a chance to visit and experience the culture and beauty of Germany.

UPDATE: video was taken down. I redirected to SoundCloud.

Pandora

 

pandora

 

My career has been committed to building products and services for the creative community, so I’m super excited to join Pandora as a VP of Product to continue on that mission. I’ll be working with the great team at Pandora to build products and services for artists and the music maker community.

I’m fired up because I’ve had a lot of respect for Pandora through the years. Tim Westergren’s entrepreneurial story is legendary, and the entire team built the best personalized radio service on the planet. The numbers speak for themselves. With 80 Million active unique users a month, Pandora is by far the biggest Internet radio service and is responsible for more than 50% of SoundExchange’s total royalty revenue. It’s amazing to me that they’ve reached these numbers without any true network effect, which is a testament to the quality of their radio experience. Pandora’s also the leading pure music service (i.e., not YouTube) and the growth is just getting started as Pandora is only available in 3 countries (US, Australia, and New Zealand) whereas the other major services are available in 50+ countries.

Pandora’s technical prowess is second to none. The team created a magical and bulletproof listening experience for all kinds of music lovers across all platforms. They engineered a unique and comprehensive Music Genome to jumpstart great music into the ears of likely fans. The playlists are further optimized by harnessing the billions of preference data points from all their users, not an easy feat. It’s a music + data nerd’s heaven, which is a major reason I’m so jazzed to join the team.

I have felt the power of Pandora’s Music Genome first-hand when I was introduced to one of my all-time favorite songs, Mary on a Pandora radio station I created in sometime in 2006 I think. I fell in love with that song and would have done anything to listen to it again. Before the days where everything was available online, I spent a lot of time and effort to hunt that track down. Mary was a bonus track off the Japanese Import of Groove Armada’s Vertigo album and was completely unavailable in the US. I searched exhaustively in bootleg shops and across the web to no avail. I finally found it selling in a record store in Japan and got it shipped over. It was the best $60 I ever spent for one song. The power of music. It was then I realized that Pandora could deliver a music experience like no other.

 

Vertigo

Cover of Japanese Import for Groove Armada’s Vertigo Album

 

 

I’ll be working with some great people on building a better bridge between the music makers and Pandora’s massive base of music fans. We have a chance to significantly move the needle to improve the welfare of artists, while strengthening the connection to their fans. Given all the opportunity ahead to expand globally and empower more artists and fans through Pandora, it feels like we’re just getting started. Looking forward to the road ahead.

 

 

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