One month ago Pandora announced its new podcast platform was in Beta. Thursday night the platform went live to the masses. Last night Pandora Pod Squad let the people know that hundreds of podcasts are now available on its platform. Note: there are hundreds of thousands of podcasts available.
Genres Pandora will be offering include: News, True Crime, Sports, Comedy, Music, Business, Technology, Entertainment, Kids, Health and Science. Pandora enters the space woefully behind Spotify, iHeartRadio and, of course, the king-of-all-podcasts, Apple. Pandora launched back in 2005 and is just now getting serious about podcasting. While Apple is still number one for podcast listening, Spotify seems to be making gains. And, Pandora, which will soon be owned by SiriusXM, always seems to be chasing Spotify.
Pandora says the key goal for its podcast launch is to solve the user question of What podcast should I listen to? “We’ve spent the last year working on our Podcast Genome Project to effortlessly serve up highly personalized podcast recommendations that are completely unique to your tastes. To make podcast discovery as effortless as possible, we’re serving up recommendations in search, browse, and podcast backstage pages.”
Pandora built its early success with music using its Music Genome Project which recommended songs to users based on what they were listening to. They are now trying to do the same with podcats. The Podcast Genome Project will recommend the podcasts to users by evaluating content based on a variety of attributes spanning content categories, as well as a users signals including thumbs, skips, collects, and plays.
While experts in the industry are mixed on how Pandora is entering the space (some believe all podcasts should be available while others believe the ramping up approach is fine), most say, the easier you make it for users to listen to podcasts on any platform they choose to listen, the better it is for the space.