Pandora Looks to Mend Broken Relationship

Pandora CEO, Brian McAndrews

Pandora CEO, Brian McAndrews

Aaron M. Kessler and Brian X. Chen from the New York Times note that when Pandora’s current CEO, Brian McAndrews, was hired two years ago, he didn’t realize how many of the company’s employees were musicians. In fact, the Pandora holiday party is delayed until January as so many workers are busy playing holiday gigs themselves. McAndrews takes pride in this fact and believes that this is indicative that Pandora, as a company, truly does have the best interest of the industry and the musicians in mind.
However, Kessler and Chen point out that the music industry have largely been frustrated with Pandora, which was founded and 2005 and quickly rose to a position of dominance in internet radio as it boasts more than 80 million people streaming every month. Desmond Child, who co-wrote Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” notes that over the last 3 months the song has been played more than 6 million times on Pandora, yet he has earned just $100 in royalties. Child believes that the songwriters and the publishers often get the short end of the stick when it comes to music streaming.
McAndrews and his team are dedicated, however, to mending this relationship with music industry persons, and has gone as far as establishing a special division within the company to work one-on-one with artist managers, and labels. Additionally, Kessler and Chen report that Pandora has made its enormous data banks available, and has started to experiment with artist promotions. Just last month, Jack White and Pandora teamed up to stream a live concert from MSG. The company reported that these efforts reached nearly 200,00 people in just a few days.
In the fall of 2014, Pandora rolled out the Artist Marketing Platform. This service allows artists to look at their own data and determine which of their songs is most popular in a certain location at no cost. According to the company’s chief marketing operator Simon Fleming-Wood, Pandora hopes to establish itself as a vital part of the future of the music industry. Shareholders and company executives surely hope their efforts prove successful as Pandora’s stock is down more than 50% since its zenith in 2014.