You know I love Pandora. It’s what keeps me sane on car trips, long set-constructing days, or pretty much any time I spend not listening to NPR. I also love the fact that my music is being introduced to new people every day without having to spend a fortune on radio promotion.
That being said, I wish Pandora Radio offered a few things that would make this artist supremely happy.
- Analytics. Who is thumbing my music up? Who’s skipping it? What stations are my songs appearing in? What kind of people are listening to my music in the first place? Where are they located? I have no freaking idea, but I’m sure Pandora knows. They’ve got to. Hell, I’d pay a modest monthly fee for access to the kind of detailed listener info (anonymized of course) they’re obviously collecting for advertisements.
- More indie artists on major label stations. I listen to the Foo Fighters channel. A lot. I mean constantly. I have never heard a single independent band on that station. Is Pandora trying to tell me that there are simply NO indie bands that sound like the Foo Fighters in their system? None at all? I seriously doubt it. Take the risk, P, and throw in some unknowns between The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Audioslave sometime. Maybe make it a slider in a preference list somewhere… “How much new/unknown material should we add to your stations?”
- Concert announcements. You know where I’m listening and you give that info to advertisers. Why not add another option that’d benefit listeners AND bands, letting them announce local concerts? Think about it… A band pays a fee for concert promotion in a certain area, sends a recording announcing the specific venue, time, and ticket location, and that announcement plays once or twice per hour (or per listening session, whatever) immediately before one of that band’s songs. Again, make it a checkbox in the preferences for paying users… “Let me know about upcoming concerts in my area for artists I’ve thumbed up.”
- Band bumpers. Just like the concert announcements, I’d love to hear Dave Grohl’s voice saying “Hey this is Dave Grohl with the Foo Fighters and we think you’ll really like this next song from our new album, ‘Back and Forth’.” You know, add a little HUMANITY to the music and give artists a chance to pay you money to speak directly to the fans. And, once again, paying users could turn this off if they wanted.
That’s all that comes to mind right now, but I think most of these suggestions could actually help raise the bottom line and keep Pandora running… while at the same time giving listeners something they actually want… more of a connection with the artists they like.