Internet music, the creation of your own channels, and using an app to access music may not be for everyone, but it does seem to have some mass appeal, particularly with Internet radio provider Pandora (NYSE:P). Pandora has announced the launch of a series of free concerts which will be available to Pandora listeners based on their likes and dislikes. The free concerts kick off with Dawes and will debut on December 13 in Portland, Oregon.
Invitations for the series are being sent out based on the preferences of Pandora listeners. The company will use the stations you have created along with your "thumbs-up" and "thumbs-down" to determine the status of invitations. A move like this ensures that users interact with the service, a big component to consider as music is becoming more and more social.
Because Pandora "knows" what you are listening to, when you listen, and how often you listen, they are able to gear music to your tastes, expose you to advertising that suites you, and in many ways make the Pandora experience better.
By example, according to the company, Portland-area listeners are 25% more likely to enjoy a Dawes song and 30% more likely to create a Dawes station on Pandora than listeners in any other U.S. city. Not only can the company improve in this manner, but they can also attract top-dollar advertising that is targeted. Pandora has landed Budweiser as an official sponsor for the Dawes event.
Music discovery is a key component of the audio entertainment experience. Pandora has been successful in allowing users to discover new music, but now has taken that to a new level by connecting the fans with the artists more than ever before.
Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes said, "As we have traveled the country, we often hear from our listeners that they discovered us on Pandora. We are excited that, now, through this new concert series, we'll get to connect in person."
Pandora expects to expand on this concept and take things to an entirely new level. Not only are more concerts in the works, but the plan includes doing such events in various cities across the country. Pandora's strategy seems to be grass roots. In contrast, Clear Channel's (CCMO.PK) iHeartRadio decided to host a huge multi-artist festival in Las Vegas this past fall, creating a compelling concert, but limited to a single destination and a one time event. Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI) has hosted several concerts, but these have typically been available only in New York, and to a limited audience. Which strategy works best? Only time will tell. The Dawes event in Portland is for people 21 years and older, but will be available to Pandora listeners (regardless of age) free of charge.
As the increasingly crowded and competitive audio entertainment landscape continues to morph and define itself, it is clear that no company is standing still. The good news is that there is plenty of room for many services to coexist without stepping on each others toes too much at this point. One thing is certain, with their ability to have exacting data from listeners, Pandora has become a growing factor in the advertising world.
Disclosure: I am long SIRI.
Additional disclosure: I have no position in Pandora.