×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pandora CEO Roger Lynch Wants to Create the Podcast Genome Project

Pandora’s new CEO Roger Lynch has big plans for podcasts: Lynch told Variety on the sidelines of CES in Las Vegas Thursday that he wants to create “the equivalent of the podcast genome project” as the company plans to add many more podcasts to its catalog.

Lynch, who joined Pandora as president and CEO in September, said that the company is working on a deep integration of podcasts that will allow users of the service to easily browse and discover new shows. Describing these efforts as a kind of podcast genome project is a nod to Pandora’s Music Genome Project — a massive database of dozens of musical attributes for every single song in the company’s music library that is being used to compile stations and aid discovery.

Pandora is also looking to offer podcasters monetization options that will be superior to the current state of podcast advertising. Currently, many podcasters still rely on ads that they read themselves on air, Lynch said. “It is not the most effective advertising model.”

That being said, Pandora isn’t pivoting to podcasts. “Music will continue to be the core of Pandora,” Lynch said. The company is instead looking to broaden its offering to retain existing users and regain the trust of those who have left in the past.

Pandora is still a music industry juggernaut with close to 74 million monthly active users, but the company has been bleeding users at a steady pace, to the tune of 4 million year-over-year in Q3 of 2017. Part of the reason why users were leaving was that Pandora didn’t offer them the ability to play single songs on demand, argued Lynch.

The company aimed to address some of that issue with the launch of its premium service last year, but Lynch said that Pandora wouldn’t be wise to see paid music subscriptions as the solution to all of its problems. “We have to be mindful of where our real competitive advantage is,” he said, arguing that Pandora is first and foremost about ad-supported music. “There’s no one who is as focused on this as us as a business opportunity,” Lynch said.

That’s why Lynch is very hopeful about a new feature launched in December that gives listeners free access to Pandora’s premium service for 30 or so minutes after watching a video ad. Not only does this make the service better for ad-supported users, it also allows artists to get involved, argued Lynch.

Previously, artists could only link to their station on Pandora. Now, they can directly link to their latest single — which could be a big step towards getting some of those past uses who haven’t been on Pandora for a while back onto the platform.

Lynch painted this as one way Pandora is going to make better use of all the things it already has going for it, including its data, content and brand recognition. Ultimately, Pandora simply had to execute better to be successful, Lynch argued. “We have the best collection of assets in the business. We under-leveraged them in the past.”

 

More Digital

  • Apple TV Plus

    Apple TV Plus Had 'Immaterial' Revenue in Launch Quarter Amid One-Year Free Deal

    Apple reported record-setting sales of nearly $92 billion for the three months that ended 2019 — but Apple TV Plus, the flashy new subscription-video service it bowed last fall, wasn’t part of the tech giant’s growth story. Apple TV Plus revenue “was immaterial to our results” for the period, CFO Luca Maestri told analysts on [...]

  • NFL

    NFL Responds to Widespread Hack That Hijacked Social-Media Accounts

    The NFL, a week before Super Bowl LIV, was targeted by a hacking collective that temporarily commandeered social media accounts across Twitter and other platforms for the league and multiple teams. In the attack, 15 of the NFL’s teams — including the Super Bowl-bound Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers — as well as [...]

  • A security guard wears a mask

    China’s Media Regulator Cuts 'Entertaining' TV Content During Coronavirus Crisis

    China’s media regulator has responded to the deadly coronavirus epidemic sweeping the country by cutting “entertaining” TV shows and boosting news programs, it said Tuesday, at a time when millions are stuck at home under quarantine. The announcement comes just days after it declared it was also doing the opposite: actively working to bring in [...]

  • LUNA NERA

    Netflix Unveils Third Italian Original, 17th Century Witchcraft Series 'Luna Nera'

    Netflix and production company Fandango on Tuesday unveiled the streamer’s third Italian original “Luna Nera” (Black Moon), a fantasy rooted in historical reality about a group of women accused of witchery in 17th century Italy. The innovative show will drop on January 31 in the roughly 190 territories where Netflix operates. Shot in Rome’s revamped Cinecittà Studios [...]

  • Boris Johnson Grants China's Huawei Limited

    UK Grants China's Huawei Limited Role in 5G Network, Despite Security Concerns

    The British government, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, decided Tuesday to allow Chinese tech giant Huawei to build parts of the country’s 5G network, in defiance of U.S. concerns over national security risks and the potential for Chinese espionage. The U.K.’s National Security Council green-lit the move to go ahead with “high risk vendor” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content