Pandora founder Tim Westergren on Wednesday announced the streaming service is going to get a little more personal. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with music per se, and its algorithms for recommendations aren’t changing. But the company plans on offering a platform for artists who want to send friendly audio messages to fans. Up first on Pandora’s list is Lenny Kravitz, Westergren said.
The new initiative, known as Artist Audio Messaging, is designed to allow artists to announce upcoming tours, album plans and provide commentary for specific songs, among other things. Curious to hear why an artist wrote the song they did? Artist Audio Messaging will provide the answers—at least that’s the plan. The service is only open to a few artists at the moment, but Westergren said Pandora will open it up to others down the road.
Pandora sees Artist Audio Messaging as a tool that gives artists some influence over the platform. Plus it’s a neat way for Pandora to stand out from the crowded streaming music market, which includes competing services from Google, Spotify, and Apple’s Beats Music.
“This platform will allow [artists] to build a patronage,” Westergren explained.
It makes Pandora slightly more personal, giving listeners the perception that artists are speaking directly to them. So if you’re an avid Pandora user—and a Lenny Kravitz fan at that—listen out for the new pilot test to launch this week.