Rocco Pendola argues that “Pandora has done more for local and indie artists in the last 30 minutes than the music industry has in the last 10 years”.
Further, he envisions a way that Pandora can really revolutionize the music industry:
Pandora can leverage the massive amount of data it collects—for example, what do people listen to and where do they live?—to do more local concert promotion, but also front the costs a band has to pay to get into local venues. And/or it can take over the chore of selling those tickets. Organize it as a massive contest. Make it a way of life. I don’t care. But set up a situation where Pandora does the dirty work for the local musician.
If it’s truly in Pandora’s DNA—and I know it is—if Pandora really cares about independent music—and I know it does—it will take the next step. There’s no reason not to. Pandora has everything to gain, nothing to lose. There’s little risk and much reward … if Pandora goes all-in with local music, starting in Hollywood and other major markets.
And his argument is worth reading all the way through to his conclusion:
If Internet radio—a rapidly growing and primary mechanism for spins, sales and promotion of music of all types—is healthy, artists of all sizes benefit. A healthy Internet radio can put more resources into providing the best user experience possible and sales and marketing, which will pump up local music scenes, sell concert tickets and drive digital record sales.
Internet radio—no matter how they pay their royalties (compulsory like Pandora or through direct deals like Spotify) and no matter how they deliver their music to listeners—needs to band together. They must form a bloc to expose the music industry for what it is—a short-sighted bunch of connected entities committed, more than anything, to keeping things exactly as they are, even as they see patterns of consumption and engagement change around them.