When I was 28, I took the first of many trips to Colorado with my band. After pulling out the last row of seats, all six of us piled into a 15-passenger Dodge rental van, along with our PA, drum kit, keyboards, guitars and backpacks. We drove the eleven-hundred mile journey non-stop for close to 20 hours, and pulled into Telluride about 3 hours before our scheduled show. We did a quick soundcheck and then spent a couple hours blanketing downtown with flyers and handing out leaflets to passersby.
We played to 12 people that night.
Anyone who has ever toured knows exactly what I’m talking about. It’s the intractable problem that ultimately derails the vast majority of working musicians. Absent any means of mass promotion, it’s almost impossible to build a following from the bottom up.
Pandora is about to solve this.
After years of work, we are releasing AMPcast. AMPcast allows any artist on Pandora to record and release audio messages targeted to their entire fan base on Pandora, right from their mobile phones. These audio messages, which will soon be geotargeted and demo targeted, can be accompanied by linkable calls-to-action on the screen such as a local ticket sale, a new single, an album release, or any other information. We’ve been testing this for a little while and the results are startling. The combination of scale, targeting, and the ability to place messages alongside an artist’s music as a listener hears it is the magic recipe.
And what’s so exciting about this is the sheer number of artists on Pandora, literally tens of thousands, who have audiences large enough that this tool could dramatically change their career prospects. Nothing like this has ever existed before for musicians.
We’re turning the page on a new chapter in music. One where the online marketplace finally starts to deliver on its original promise; a massive promotional platform that creates not only access for artists, but also the data and tools for them to build an audience and turn that audience into patrons. Starting today, the odds have changed.