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How Pandora's data could help artists plan better tours and albums

Pandora is sharing its data with young artists
Pandora is sharing its data with young artists

As the leading internet radio service, Pandora knows which of its 65 million users are listening to a band's music, where they are listening to it, and which songs they like best. Wednesday morning, the company announced that it is going to share that information with bands.

Pandora AMP will provide all 125,000-plus artists played on the site with data on what their fan base and its preferences, as determined by tens of billions of hours of personalized listening.

"When I was in a band, we had a rented van, a box of fliers, and a couple staple guns," said Tim Westergren, Pandora's founder and a former touring musician, said in a press release. "The challenge faced by artists trying to find and build an audience was part of the original inspiration for Pandora. With AMP, the goal is simple: we want to harness the power of our scale and data to make artists' lives easier."

Over 80 percent of the artists played on Pandora, the press release says, receive no traditional radio play; in the past, royalties from radio stations have given artists information about who's listening to them. Access to thumbs up/thumbs down data for 50 billion hours of played music could help artists without radio data find out who's listening to them. Among other things, artists will be able to see where their fans are located geographically, letting them book tours more efficiently.


Pandor has launched a new service for artists and managers that provides detailed information about how well their songs perform on Pandora and where their fans are located.

(Pandora/LA Times)

Ben Singer, manager of singer-songwriter Andy Grammer, said in the press release, "This is a total game changer for us. Our research shows us that the majority of Andy's fans consume music on Pandora. To have access to these analytics will only help us better serve his fans as the music industry continues to evolve."

It may not provide artists with better royalties — Pandora's stinginess has drawn complaints from artists — but it's certainly a peace offering of sorts.

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