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85pc of Pandora listeners on mobile, says exec

NEW YORK ? Eighty-five percent of all of Pandora?s traffic comes from mobile, an executive from the audio streaming platform said. 

At a session at ad:tech New York 2016, the executive spoke about how Pandora views audio as a platform for connecting brands, audiences and artists in a talk called The Future of Music. Pandora is focusing on a seamless integration of listening across devices, as well as a branded live experience that the company says will be the main force of revenue for artists in the future.

"Consumers want music on every device, anytime," said Karina Montgomery, vice president of strategic solutions at Pandora. "Wherever they are, they lean on technology to authenticate devices for a seamless transition." 

Frictionless connectivity
Pandora has been around for more than 10 years. In that time, Ms. Montgomery said, the company has seen the concept of listening to music become completely disrupted.

Pandora led the charge of audio streaming in the early days, pioneering the transition from physical mediasuch as CDs and MP3 players in favor of streaming music and audio from the internet.

Now, it is the primary method that listeners get their music.

That makes audio streaming such as the kind offered by Pandora a valuable asset for listeners, artists and the brands that partner with them.

?We have completely disrupted the category of radio and transformed consumers? expectations of how they listen,? Ms. Montgomery said. ?Our future vision is to move from disrupting radio to unifying the entire music listening experience.?

To do that, Pandora has observed certain trends in the audio streaming industry.

For one, consumers demand frictionless connectivity between all of their digital devices. That means that when they create a playlist on the Pandora desktop site, they expect to be able to play that same playlist, exactly from where they left off, on the Pandora mobile app.

Mobile is a key part of the frictionless connectivity, as Ms. Montgomery notes that 85 percent of all of its listens come from mobile devices. Pandora is making its business model mobile first to meet that trend.

Secondly, consumers are moving away from spending money on owning music and more money on experiencing it. Ms. Montgomery claimed that millennials place more value on experiences than they do on things.

For artists, that translates to higher revenue from live performances than from album sales.

Marketers have to understand that trend and move their focus away from big advertising pushes after an album releases and more towards sustained listening.

Which leads to the final trend, playlisting. If a consumer really likes an artist or a song, he or she is more likely to put them on a playlist on a streaming audio service such as Pandora or Spotify, than to go out and buy the music itself.

Live events
Artists and marketers need to understand that they must shift their focus from getting ?buys? to getting ?playlists.? Continued listening is how they will continue to develop strong loyal ties from consumers.

One of the ways Pandora is capitalizing on these trends is with branded live events. 

Ms. Montgomery played a video showing some of the big artists it has gotten, such as Jason Derulo and Fergie, who performed a concert series with brand partners such as Best Buy and Procter & Gamble's Charmin.

?We believe the most natural way to engage with audiences is through audio,? Ms. Montgomery said. ?In the earbud era when there is nothing between the listener and the message, you have an audience of one. 

?There?s an unparalleled opportunity for brands to engage with listeners,? she said.