Pandora is giving artists more control over their own narrative.
Today, the popular music streaming website launched Pandora Stories, a tool that allows artists to weave commentary throughout a specific playlist, giving them the time and space to tell fans what inspired them to create their art.
One of the first artists to use the platform is John Legend, who has short snippets of commentary before each song. For example, before “All of Me”, Legend has a thirty second audio clip called “A Song for Chrissy”.
This is a potentially valuable tool for artists who want to go outside of the normal avenues — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — to connect with audiences. It gives them the chance to explain the meaning behind their music as people are listening to it.
It also has the potential to be widely used by people other than musicians. If you’re an athlete, business leader, or any kind of public figure, the new feature by Pandora gives you an opportunity to connect with people through the music you’re into, which one could argue is an extension of your personality.
The newest launch is part of the company’s wider mission to incorporate podcasts into its portfolio of offerings for customers and Shamal Ranasinghe, the company’s VP of Creators Product, said as much in a blog post today:
“Blending the best of podcasts and playlists, Pandora is unleashing a new creative artform with Pandora Stories. Creators – including artists, songwriters, celebrities, and podcasters – can now use Pandora AMP to voice their Stories, giving more meaning, heart, and insight into their fans’ favorite music. When combined with Pandora’s artist marketing and data analytics tools, Pandora Stories gives Creators the industry’s leading toolkit to connect to their listeners.”
Pandora also offers metrics on the voice tracks like minutes listened and number of listeners, according to Billboard.
The announcement by Pandora is the latest effort from a streaming company to dive into podcasting. This year, Spotify purchased audio giant Gimlet Media to offer more podcasts on its platform.
As of today, Premium Pandora subscribers can use the feature ad-free, and ad supported and plus users can use it after viewing a 30-second ad.
For a lot of people, music — and what makes them decide to listen to or create it — is a part of their broader life story. This new tool from Pandora gives artists a chance to establish a deep, intimate connection with music lovers.