I’m sure you’ve heard the rumors: “Radio is dead,” they say, as if America’s first mass medium hadn’t already withstood almost a century of blows from its big brother, television. The truth is that radio isn’t dying at all; it’s evolving. And here’s the proof.
According to Edison Research/Arbitron, Utah’s most-listened-to (by both average quarter hour and audience cume) radio station isn’t really a radio station at all. It’s Pandora, and it’s also the highest-rated radio station in all top-five U.S. markets. And with the announcement of Pandora 4.0, they’ve demonstrated the next step in the evolution of radio.
The popular Pandora app, which accounts for 75% of the 1.1 billion hours of music Pandora streams every month, is about to receive a serious shot of social. If Pandora is Batman, Pandora 4.0 is the same superhero that has saved your proverbial Gotham time after time, but with a seriously upgraded set of billionaire gadgets on his utility belt.
While Pandora 4.0 will keep the same simple interface, it will now provide a hidden collection of treasures for the small group of users who want to use them, including a social interface that allows Pandora users to build and manage a profile, follow other users, and browse song lyrics.
And so it was, that radio got a serious dose of social. And with that, as with anything, the power is placed that much more in the hands of the consumer to share, speak, stop, or go. Pandora’s latest move is a lesson for businesses everywhere: evolve or die. Customers are demanding the ability to share and interact, and if you don’t give it to them, somebody else will.