The battle for podcasters among music streaming services continues. A day after Spotify announced the launch of its podcast analytics dashboard, Pandora is today expanding its own podcasting efforts with the arrival of a self-service online hub for creators. The new Pandora for Podcasters will allow creators to submit their shows for inclusion on the streaming service, where they can be discovered through Pandora’s show and episode-level recommendation system.
Pandora’s entry into the podcast market began late last year, when it brought its “Genome” technology to podcast recommendations. Similar to how Pandora’s Music Genome is capable of classifying songs across hundreds of different attributes, the new Podcast Genome Project does the same for audio programs.
The system uses more than 1,500 attributes — like MPAA ratings, production style, content type, host profile and more, as well as listener signals, like thumbs, skips, replays and more — combined with machine learning algorithms, natural language processing and collaborative filtering methods to help determine user preferences.
An additional layer of human curation is also involved in making the final recommendations.
The result is a system that is able to suggest not just shows a listener may like, but also individual episodes, based on their likes, dislikes and other insights gained from their listening history.
When podcasts launched on Pandora in December 2018, the service offered hundreds of shows and more than 100,000 episodes. There are now thousands of shows and over 500,000 episodes, the company claims.
Pandora parent SiriusXM has also played a role in expanding the streamer’s podcast offerings by bringing dozens of SiriusXM talk shows to Pandora as podcasts, and leveraging SiriusXM’s guests to narrate for Pandora’s music-and-audio product called Pandora Stories.
Now, podcast creators both large and small will be able to submit their own shows for inclusion in Pandora’s catalog. To do so, they’ll submit their show’s RSS feed URL to Pandora directly and answer a few questions about the podcast.
Based on a test from TechCrunch editor (and podcaster) Brian Heater, Pandora asked for download numbers, social media links, and provided a time frame of 4-6 weeks for processing.
If approved, the show will be available to Pandora’s 65 million monthly active listeners and their future episodes will be added automatically.
This self-serve hub’s launch follows a similar move by Spotify nearly a year ago, when it opened up podcast submissions to all creators. Today, Spotify’s pitch to podcasters is to submit their shows in exchange for robust listener data. The company says it now has more than 450,000 shows on its platform, with around 100,000 signing up for inclusion through its own self-submission process.
Interested podcast creators can now submit their shows to Pandora here after first registering for a Pandora account.