[UPDATED] This week, Pandora announced the Podcast Genome Project, a cataloging system and discovery algorithm that uses a combination of technology and human curation to deliver personalized podcast recommendations. Spotify and Apple Music have both stepped up their podcast game, as well, by improving their search and discovery options.
“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 Roger Lynch, Chief Executive Officer, Pandora. “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.”
Good News For Marketing Music
These same efforts to make podcast discovery easier are also great news for musicians, record labels and music marketers.
Pearl Jam fans who search for the band on Spotify, don't just see albums, tracks and playlists related to the band. Four podcasts are listed that feature the band, including "Single Podcast Theory - The Pearl Jam Podcast." Fans who search Spotify for genres like Americana will find also podcasts like "Americana Music Profiles" and the intriguingly named "Asian Americana."
These changes should encourage artists to start their own podcasts, since they now will appear in their search results and should be unearthed by Pandora's Podcast Genome . Even if they are informal and randomly posted, an audio diary or other podcast provide another way to connect with fans via easy to produce content.
Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music and others could further encourage artist-centered podcasts by adding flagged or official podcasts to their Artist Page.