wants to be a bigger cog in the live-music machine.
The company on Wednesday launched new features to help users find out when their favorite artists are playing nearby, alert them to upcoming shows with an email digest and allow them to set up a reminder to buy tickets.
The move underscores Pandora's ambitions beyond purely serving up streaming music. The company acquired online ticketing company Ticketfly for $450 million last year to give it more of a presence in the live-music scene and plans to use its music recommendation engine to deliver the right kind of performance suggestions. The company wants its app to be the go-to for live shows not only for fans, but musicians and venues as well.
"The artists, the promoters and the fans need to do nothing differently to take advantage of [these features]," said Andrew Dreskin, CEO of Ticketfly.
With the new offering, you'll still log in to your Pandora account and give songs a thumbs-up as usual. You'll receive one notification a day about a show the service's algorithms reckon you'll be interested in. The app draws from the data it has collected from its 80 million monthly users on their music preferences to make these decisions. If you listen to a lot of rap music, the platform will let you know that artists like G-Eazy or Kendrick Lamar are playing in your area this weekend.
There is not yet a feature that allows you to specifically ask for notifications about certain artists. Instead, you "add an artist to a station or you thumb up their music," and the algorithm figures it out, said Pandora Chief Operating Officer Sara Clemens.
You also get a weekly personalized email digest with all of your favorite artists who are playing nearby and push notifications to alert you when tickets are available for a concert you might like. You can also opt out of both the notifications and emails if you wish.
Bands and music venues can capitalize on these features as well, Clemens said. When an artist schedules a gig with a venue that uses Ticketfly for ticketing, Pandora automatically processes the event and alerts the appropriate fans, a boon to lesser-known groups looking for new audiences.
Though concert notifications may be new to Pandora, there's a market filled with similar applications. Timbre lets users find concerts in their area and can search in other cities weeks in advance. BandMate, designed by app developer WellAlright, allows users to add upcoming shows to their personal calendar and offers suggestions of what to go see based on the individual's music library.
Pandora believes its well of data on music tastes and its users put it in another category. Plus, they "don't need to download another app," Clemens said.