Pandora launches podcast offerings based on Podcast Genome Project

Pandora this week unveiled its podcast offering, powered by the Podcast Genome Project, a cataloging system and discovery algorithm that uses a combination of technology and human curation to deliver personalized content recommendations.

On November, 13, Pandora started to roll out beta access to select listeners on mobile devices. Users interested in early access to the offering can sign-up here, with general availability in the coming weeks.

“It might feel like podcasts are ubiquitous, but, eighty-three percent of Americans aren’t yet listening to podcasts on a weekly basis, and a majority of them report that’s because they simply don’t know where to start. Making podcasts – both individual episodes and series – easy to discover and simple to experience is how we plan to greatly grow podcast listening while simultaneously creating new and more sustainable ways to monetize them.”

Roger Lynch, Chief Executive Officer, Pandora

Pandora says the Podcast Genome Project recommends the right podcasts to the right listeners at the right time, solving the questions, “is there a podcast that’s right for me?” and “what should I listen to next?” It evaluates content based on more than 1500 attributes – spanning MPAA ratings, timely and evergreen topics, production style, content type, host profile, etc – and listener signals including thumbs, skips, and replays. It also utilizes machine learning algorithms, natural language processing, and collaborative filtering methods for listener preferences.

“With the introduction of podcasts, listeners can now easily enjoy all of their audio interests – music, comedy, news, sports, or politics – on Pandora, the streaming service that knows their individual listening habits the best. The Podcast Genome Project’s unique episode-level understanding of content knows exactly what podcast you’ll want to discover next, and will serve it up through a seamless in-product experience that is uniquely personalized to each listener and will continue to grow with their tastes over time.”

Chris Phillips, Chief Product Officer, Pandora

Pandora has partnered with publishers including APM, Gimlet, HeadGum, Libsyn, Maximum Fun, NPR, Parcast, PRX+PRI, reVolver, Slate, The New York Times, The Ramsey Network, The Ringer, WNYC Studios, and Wondery, and will continue to feature existing podcast content including Serial, This American Life and Pandora’s original Questlove Supreme.