Pandora Music and Alumni Relations?

We are big fans of Pandora.  Pandora is self-described as “the personalized internet radio service that helps you find new music based on your old and current favorites”.  You pick a song or artist you like, and Pandora uses its algorithm to play similar songs of a similar genre. Pandora has over 50 million enthusiastic followers and it offers both a free (ad-supported) version and a premium (ad free) version for just $3 per month.  My favorite channels are Zac Brown Band, The Outfield and Maná.

Just as we discussed in our blog post about Yelp, mobile technology has had a tremendous impact on Pandora’s business.  Pandora is a private company, so it’s difficult to get exact usage data.  However, late last week, Pandora CEO Tim Westergren was interviewed by Charlie Rose.  During the interview, Westergren explained the impact mobile technology has had on Pandora’s business.

“It’s impossible to overstate. The iPhone has…almost doubled our growth rate overnight. More important, perhaps, it changed the way consumers perceived Pandora. Most people came to Pandora on a laptop, principally at work. When the iPhone came out, suddenly you could take Pandora with you. You could go to the gym and be on the treadmill. Or you could buy a $2 adapter and plug it into your car.”

This kind of first-hand understanding of the potential for mobile gets us so excited about the work we’re doing at EverTrue.  Although alumni communications and streaming music might not be exactly the same, we do believe that they share common characteristic: both are dependent on distributing content in the most convenient way possible for the end user.

Someday soon we hope we’ll be able to say that our alumni relations clients “doubled their growth rate overnight” thanks to mobile.  In the meantime, here is a brief video of Tim Westergren’s interview that is well worth the two and a half minutes it will take to watch it.

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