Pandora's ability to aggregate meaningful data about its listeners is incredibly impressive. In addition to collecting signed-up user information, the brand also utilizes algorithms that segment their listeners based off what they listen to, when they listen, what they like, and where they are listening. In addition, the Pandora Music Genome Project has proved to be a vital part of how music is delivered to its users. Pandora analyzes songs based on 450 distinct musical characteristics. Each assessment is done by a trained music analysis. The identity of the song is captured on multiple levels (tone, beats, keys, etc.) and chosen specifically for the preferences of the listener.
With all this insightful information on tap, it's no wonder that Pandora has started groundbreaking partnerships with huge brands. Toyota is one brand that has seen big traction on the platform with "Toyota Sessions," a custom branded station on Pandora that features several emerging artists from all over the country. What makes this station so different? The intimacy and exploration of the artists through content marketing experiences that speak to the listener. Pandora is not just a place where people go to listen to music. Avid and loyal users of the platform use it as a means of discovery. Searching out and finding new, hot artists is a big activity on Pandora. Toyota has aligned its content marketing presence on the platform to feed the listener’s desire to discover and learn about emerging musicians through audio interviews, videos, audio documentaries, and even live concerts.
Heidi Browning, SVP of strategic solutions at Pandora, speaks to iMedia's David Zaleski about their partnership with the Toyota brand and how native listening experiences are achieving amazing success.
Toyota Sessions conducts audio interviews, records mini audio documentaries, and of course, plays the music of its new artists right on the station. They even shoot video biographies of their subjects which listeners can access by clicking on a right column banner sponsored by Toyota. This immersive integration of multimedia allows the listener to connect and learn from the artist who is being featured in an intimate way.
Toyota is a brand centered on discovery and exploration. It's "let's go places" motto invokes a feeling of freedom and endless possibility for its automobile customers. Its sponsored Pandora channel reflects those sentiments. Toyota has created a streaming audio content marketing experience that reflects the essence of the brand, and also perfectly fulfils the desires of the Pandora listening audience. Toyota is showing us that content marketing does not have to be limited to writers publishing out articles or op-eds on a website. The content does not even have to be words on a page. Toyota is utilizing video and audio in creative ways to capitalize on the wealth of knowledge they already have on the Pandora audience (because of Pandora's internal aggregation). Your brand's audience does not have to be limited to those who like your brand. Find platforms and services that are popular with a big swath of consumers you might not otherwise have access to, and establish a content presence that feels native to the platform in order to be front and center when new users discover new ideas.
Heidi Browning ends our conversation by explaining how Pandora is creating a 360-degree experience for its listeners by conducting live concerts from the featured Toyota Sessions artists, as well as what the company is doing with Gatorade in the audio content marketing space.
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