When Apple unveiled its direct-to-fan digital channel, Apple Music Connect, last year, the Cupertino giant was full of optimism.
Artists would be able to share sounds and images straight from the studio with fans, we were told, in a revolutionary step forward for the relationship between performers and their audience.
So far, that revolution hasn’t quite reached its potential – although sources suggest than a revamp of Apple’s streaming app may be coming later this year with more sophisticated direct-to-fan elements included.
In the meantime, rival Pandora is upping its D2F game.
The US streaming platform yesterday announced AMPcast.
The new feature, available on Pandora’s Artist Marketing Platform (AMP), lets acts record audio messages on their mobile phone and then target certain types of fans who are listening to their music on Pandora.
Check out the below video for an explanation:
Pandora is encouraging artists to use AMPcast to ‘alert fans about local concert dates, album releases, or just to share some stories from life on the road’.
Artists can also include a link for fans to buy an album or tickets for their upcoming tour.
Messages are served up to acts while they’re listening to the relevant artist’s music.
“Lately I’ve been using AMPcast to spread the word,” said chart topping Oakland-bred rapper G-Eazy (pictured), who has over half a billion spins on Pandora.
“It’s as easy as it can possibly be. Pandora is changing the game with this one.”
“AMPcast has the potential to change the odds for musicians,” said Tim Westergren, Pandora’s founder.
“This powerful tool, combined with the scale and reach of Pandora, gives every talented and hard-working artist a real shot to build a career in music.
“Marketing and promotion for artists will never be the same.”
This new tool is available starting today to a select group of artists and will launch to all artists registered on AMP within the coming months.
AMPcast builds on the similar innovation of Artist Audio Messages on Pandora – from which over 152 million messages have already been heard by listeners in the past year.
Pandora says engagement on these voice messages has impressed, citing the below two examples:
- Steve Aoiki, one of the world’s top DJs, created a message that invited listeners to stream his latest album “Neon Future Odyssey” on Pandora Premiers. Listeners clicked-through those messages at an astonishing rate of 17.67%.
- Hermitude, Australia’s electronic hip-hop duo, created seven geo-targeted messages about their upcoming tour and sent them to their most loyal listeners. Those messages saw click-through rates ranging from 3.17% – 8.95%.
Music Business Worldwide