Posts Tagged ‘Pandora’ – Brought To You By The Founders Of Stickybits

June 27th, 2011

In one of the more bizarre (from my perspective) changes in a company’s business model comes Remember Stickybits – the company that allowed you to place a bar code on any object and ‘internet-ize’ it?  Well, according to The Next Web, the founders have made a huge right hand turn and shifted their attention to a ‘social listening’ project where each of us has a hand in the music that is being played.

The invite list is ‘sort of’ exclusive.  You can only sign up if a friend of yours on Facebook is currently a member.  Not hard for most of you with more than a hundred or so friends.  Upon entry, you can step up to the podium and spin your music against 4 other ‘Social DJs’.  The audience decides which of the DJs lays down the next track through a simple voting system.

What’s brilliant about this is a combination of social interaction, visual simplicity (fun anime characters right down to the PC vs. Mac DJs), and the ability to hear a variety of music you might not otherwise be exposed to if you were only choosing the tracks in a particular genre (The Next Web calls this out under ‘Music Discovery’ – dubbing it a ‘more social’ version of Pandora or – spot on, in my opinion).   Even better is the fact that I get to ‘save’ tracks that I’m interested in by adding them to my Turntable Queue,, Spotify, or iTunes.  +1 Turntable – thank you for not making this a walled garden.

I’ve found myself spending more time here than on my other go-to music services in the last few weeks, and am finding that I’m not the only one enjoying the addition of a new player based on my Facebook feed.  With all of the social exposure that Turntable is experiencing, I’m anticipating that there will be a level of push back from the labels pertaining to rights of the tracks that are being shared (something Pandora is well versed in).

Big right hand turns don’t always pay off… In this case, I think the founders of Stickybits made a smart choice.  They’ve created an ‘venue’ where the casual listener can discover new music, independent artists can use it as a platform to promote their own creations, and brands can host an experience within the environment connecting directly (in real time) with their consumers through a brand experience and group chat.

Looking forward to watching the service continue to evolve and make the social music landscape even more competitive.

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Facebook Shares The ‘Like’

April 22nd, 2010

Big week for Facebook as they rolled out some big news at their annual F8 developers conference. They have cached all their live stream videos on their site.  The areas that they’ve made their biggest strides in? Personalized Search, Micro-Blogging, and an increased footprint in their ever-growing Ad Network business.  Pete Cashmore sums it up well in his CNN Tech Blog – going so far as to lead with the headline:

How Facebook won the web

I think it’s a little early for the rest of the Web players to wave the white flag of defeat, however it is impressive how Facebook is recognizing the key growth areas and making the right partnerships to win those areas.  I’m personally very interested to watch the partnership with Pandora play out.  We’re (Intel) currently a sponsor of the ‘sharing’ mechanism in Pandora – literally, letting your social network know through Twitter and Facebook, which song you are listening to at any given time you choose to share.  The new announcement with Facebook extends that even further, sending the sharing both directions.  Full details on the Pandora FAQ page.  Smart companies, smart partnership.

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A Final Word For 2009

December 21st, 2009

I’m winding down the work year and as I do so, this will be my final post for 2009 in an effort to take a breath and recharge for 2010.  What a year it’s been!  This year was my first effort at a full time blog and marks a deeper dive into the Social Web. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to share experiences through speakerships, interviews, and even a podcast on Wired.  The main thing I’ve enjoyed throughout this year’s work is the opportunity to learn from the smart people I come into contact with on a daily basis.  There are a lot of hard working individuals inside and outside of Intel that are always innovating.  I’m lucky that my role here allows a peek into many different projects and programs that are pushing the bounds of media and marketing.

On the Intel front, we’ve had some very good ‘best effort’ programs that have expanded our horizons into Cause Marketing w/ our FaceBook ‘Vote for a Cause‘ Program, unique activations that bring our brand campaign to life (thank you Maggie Mason!), and Social Platform building with our latest effort – My Life Scoop.  We’ve also had some fun and brought you new features on my favorite Internet music source,  Pandora (‘Add Variety’) because we thought it was important as a ‘Sponsor of Tomorrow’ to enhance your experience on a great site.

Finally, we did something very different at Intel.  Something we’ve never done before.  We marketed our BRAND – Intel, and not just focused on the next product to hit the street.  We want you to live a better life through technology, and we needed to make sure that people understood what the Intel brand means and how we help with that. This shift in campaign focus has been a lot of fun as it’s allowed many of us at Intel to share in a common message. Deborah Conrad, our VP and GM of Corporate Marketing states that message best:

What Intel develops today leads the path toward a better tomorrow.

I think that people are beginning to see us in a different way and gain a better understanding of how exactly we make their lives better through technology.

2009 was the year that the Social Web exploded.  Those that were aware of the power of Social Media, made the prediction early on.  I think you will see in 2010 that ‘Social’ becomes mainstream and is a standard component to every marketing program rather than a new, never been done before, ‘feature’.  Consumers want to share, they want their voices to be heard, and they want to digest content on their time and on the device of their choosing. Looking back we saw the rapid decline of print.  Looking forward, we’re staring at the monumental rise of mobile.  Those media institutions that adapt to the shift in media will live to fight another day, and those that don’t – will not.

I’m proud of the work we’ve done this year, I’m ‘smarter’ (thanks to the gracious sharing of others) in the space I specialize in, and I’m looking forward to more learning and innovation in 2010.  Happy Holidays all…see you in the New Year!

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Pandora Gets More Social

October 28th, 2009

We (Intel) have done some great executions with Pandora this year.  What I admire most about them is their willingness to innovate, and tailor programs for a client like me. 

Today the service just got better, in my opinion.  I am a heavy user of Pandora and find myself discovering new songs that I bookmark, but always seem to forget to share.  Now, with the capability to share through Twitter, Facebook, and ‘Give the Gift’ of Music – users are able to provide those in their network a real-time ‘listen in’ to what they are playing on Pandora.  From Tom Conrad, Pandora CTO:

 It’s sort of our version of making a mix tape for someone” (courtesy: TechCrunch)

I used to make mix-tapes all the time growing up…now I have a new way to share my favorites.  Well played Tom, Tim, and the rest of the Pandora crew.

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Pandora in the news…again

September 28th, 2009

I have a lot of respect for the tenacity and vision of Tim Westergren and the gang over at Pandora.  If you’re a fan, there is a great interview with Tim available on press:here (I’ve embedded the first section below but you can get all three sections through the previous link).  In addition, TechCrunch ran a story on Friday, detailing how they were on the verge of shuttering their doors only to break through and expecting to be cash positive by the end of 2009. 

According to Tim, Americans spend 20 hours a week listening to music, 17 of which is not self selected (meaning, they are not grabbing a CD and popping it into their player – rather they are streaming music: Radio, Internet, etc).  This equals a significant opportunity to advertise to an attractive audience set.  Pandora has capitalized on this by creating a service where the the user is very interactive with the website – up to 7 times per hour rating songs or bookmarking songs.  Each of these user activities provide the opportunity to present an advertisement through a ‘skin’ on the site or a video interstitial between songs (Intel has used both in our advertising efforts with Pandora).  That, coupled with the 10-15 second audio spots sprinkled within your stream, ensures a significant interaction between brand advertiser and consumer on Pandora each hour.

From his discussion with Sarah Lacy of TechCrunch post-interview with press:here regarding the success of advertising on Pandora:

I think it’s because the interaction doesn’t feel like work. It’s a natural instinct tied to the ability to affect the listening, and it’s rewarding.” (credit TechCrunch)

That reward translates into a significantly higher interaction rate (up to 10x) with ads served on Pandora when compared to industry average – which will make advertisers very happy.  Count me as one of them.  Keep up the great work Tim and Team Pandora.

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Check out this MixTape – courtesy of Intel, Pandora, and FM

August 20th, 2009

Outside Lands is becoming an annual event in the Bay Area.  For the second year in a row Intel is playing a role in the three day jam in Golden Gate Park.  Our participation is two-fold. We’ll have a large presence on site at the festival, and we’re also partnering with Pandora (from previous posts, you know I am a fan of this service) and Federated Media to bring you a ‘MixTape‘ of the bands that will be performing in the City by the Bay – streaming right to your computer.

The music lineup is fantastic and features some of my favorite bands. Having missed out on last year’s jam session, I was looking forward to attending this year.  Calendars didn’t work out so I won’t be hanging out in Lindley Meadow, Speedway Meadow, or the Polo Field listening to Band of Horses or The National.  Check out Ranger Dave’s Magic Scheduler to help you see all your favorites!

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Promoting Tomorrow on Pandora

June 30th, 2009

It’s no secret that I am a Pandora fan.  Not only do I like their product, but I genuinely enjoy the people that bring great opportunities to Intel to help extend our campaign messages.  We’ve been trying to get the right thing in place to leverage the power of the Pandora listening network for our Sponsors of Tomorrow brand campaign since launch.  Yesterday we finally unveiled our effort.  Big kudos to the Pandora team and our agency for really working hard to make this happen – I think it will be a great activation around our new brand campaign. 

We did a soft launch yesterday and you’ll see us show up more and more over the next month or so as you enjoy your favorite artist streaming on  The visual experience you can expect is in the image below.  We’ll also have some interstitial placements of our Rock Star and Oops advertisements as media within the channel stream.  Great job Team Pandora!

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Cool Device+Great Service = Happy Customer+Revenue

May 7th, 2009

An amazingly simple concept – offer a GREAT service (for free) on a device that everyone wants, make it easy to bookmark their favorite tunes, and offer a path to purchase – people will not only be fans, but they will stray from ‘free’ long enough to pay for the tracks they really care about.  While Pandora doesn’t make much from the sale (the two commerce options, iTunes and Amazon, take home the bulk of the profit), it does provide them with an additional revenue steam outside of simply selling advertising through the site.  According to TechCrunch:

Users are buying about a million songs a month now from these affiliate links on Pandora….  Of those, a solid 20% are coming directly from Pandora’s iPhone app.

Pandora was smart to partner with Apple.  In return for adding value to the iPhone through it’s app (most downloaded app in 2008) – the company is gaining customers it might not otherwise have had.

I’ll reiterate the title of this post: Cool Device+Cool Service = Happy Customer+Revenue.  I’m a fan and a happy customer of both.  I’ll be streaming Pandora in my car as I head out on a roadtrip this weekend – maybe I’ll even buy a track or two along the way…

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Pandora and Nike create the ‘musical treadmill’

March 27th, 2009

Music and running – it just goes together.  Now you can ‘mix’ your own workout playlist with the new Nike Treadmill on Pandora.  Feeling sluggish?  Want the tempo of your music to reflect your pedestrian pace – dial back the Speed Slider to 1, but make sure you push your Endurance Slider to 10 to get burn those calories.  Pandora is just now starting to do some different forms of advertising within their digital experience…the key for me – they are innovative and relevant.  Now strap your iPod to your arm and hit that treadmill!

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