×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pandora Unveils Podcast Genome Project, Delivering Personalized Recommendations

Pandora today announced the Podcast Genome Project, a cataloging system and discovery algorithm that uses a combination of technology and human curation to deliver personalized content recommendations. In short, it is similar to the Music Genome recommendations the service pioneered in the last decade.

Beginning today, Pandora will roll out beta access to select listeners on mobile devices. Those interested in early access to the offering can sign-up here, with general availability in the coming weeks.

“It might feel like podcasts are ubiquitous, but, eighty-three percent of Americans aren’t yet listening to podcasts on a weekly basis, and a majority of them report that’s because they simply don’t know where to start,” said Pandora CEO Roger Lynch. “Making podcasts – both individual episodes and series – easy to discover and simple to experience is how we plan to greatly grow podcast listening while simultaneously creating new and more sustainable ways to monetize them.”

According to the announcement, the project works in a similar way to Pandora’s Music Genome Project, recommending podcasts to listeners at specific times. It evaluates content based on more than 1500 attributes — spanning MPAA ratings, timely and evergreen topics, production style, content type, host profile, etc. — and listener signals including thumbs, skips and replays. It also utilizes machine learning algorithms, natural language processing, and collaborative filtering methods for listener preferences. Also similar to the Music Genome Project, the Podcast Genome Project combines those techniques with in-house curation.

“With the introduction of podcasts, listeners can now easily enjoy all of their audio interests — music, comedy, news, sports, or politics — on Pandora, the streaming service that knows their individual listening habits the best,” said Pandora chief product officer Chris Phillips. “The Podcast Genome Project’s unique episode-level understanding of content knows exactly what podcast you’ll want to discover next, and will serve it up through a seamless in-product experience that is uniquely personalized to each listener and will continue to grow with their tastes over time.”

At launch, Pandora has partnered with publishers including APM, Gimlet, HeadGum, Libsyn, Maximum Fun, NPR, Parcast, PRX+PRI, reVolver, Slate, The New York Times, The Ramsey Network, The Ringer, WNYC Studios, and Wondery, and will continue to feature existing podcast content including Serial, This American Life and Pandora’s original Questlove Supreme, with many more to come in the future. These partnerships introduce hundreds of popular podcasts across a wide variety of genres including News, Sports, Comedy, Music, Business, Technology, Entertainment, True Crime, Kids, Health and Science.

After a rough few years, Lynch has been leading a gradual turnaround in the company’s fortunes. During its third-quarter earnings report last week, Pandora revealed that it generated close to 30 percent of its revenue for the quarter with paid subscriptions.

Altogether, Pandora brought in some $417.6 million in revenue for the quarter, with non-adjusted net losses coming in at $15.5 million, or $0.06 per share. Last year around, the company ended the same quarter with revenues of $378.64, and losses of $0.06 as well. Wall Street watchers had expected revenue of $401.29 million, and losses of $0.11 per share.

But the bigger story for Pandora may be the significant growth of its subscription business. The company’s paid products are still dwarfed by competitors like Spotify and Apple Music, with Pandora servicing just 6.8 million paying subscribers. However, the company significantly grew its subscription revenue, to the tune of 49 percent year-over-year, totaling $125.77 million for the quarter.

 

 

More Digital

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Sirius Logo

    SiriusXM Unveils $8 Essential Plan for Consumers Without Cars

    SiriusXM wants to cater consumers without cars, or cars without compatible stereos, with a new $8 plan for mobile and in-home listening. Dubbed SiriusXM Essential, the plan offers access to 200+ channels featuring the network’s entire music programming, as well comedy, news and select sports channels. Consumers will be able to test the new plan [...]

  • Mueller Report Book Editions Top Amazon's

    Mueller Report Book Editions Shoot to Top of Best-Seller Lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble

    Robert Mueller is now a best-selling author. Book publishers’ forthcoming editions of the special counsel’s report zoomed to the top of the Amazon’s and Barnes & Noble’s lists of book best-sellers Friday. That comes a day after the report was publicly released, culminating the nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election [...]

  • Marques Brownlee - Retro Tech

    YouTube Orders Marques Brownlee 'Retro Tech' Original Series

    YouTube has turned to one of its homegrown stars — technology vlogger Marques Brownlee, aka “MKBHD” — for its newest original series. The video platform has greenlit series “Retro Tech” featuring Brownlee, in which he’ll unbox and review vintage technology products that have defined pop culture. The show, slated to debut in December 2019, follows [...]

  • Netflix Tests Random Episode Button in

    Netflix Starts Testing Random Episode Button

    Netflix is testing a button to play random episodes of select TV shows, the company confirmed Friday morning. “We are testing the ability for members to play a random episode from different TV series on the Android mobile app,” a Netflix spokesperson told Variety. “These tests typically vary in length of time and by region, [...]

  • Netflix Our Planet Sophie Darlington

    Netflix's 'Our Planet' Roars to Life With Work by Top Wildlife Cinematographers

    In terms of scope, production time and — very likely — budget, Netflix’s “Our Planet” is one of the most ambitious projects from the streaming service to date. Narrated by David Attenborough and made available worldwide on April 5, the goal of the eight-part series is to capture diverse habitats across the globe and highlight [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content