Pandora is aligning itself with the promotional titan AEG Presents on five major festivals in the U.S. – Stagecoach, Hangout, Firefly, Electric Forest and Bumbershoot – to host a “Sound On Lounge” as part of the streaming company’s new branding strategy.
Now the exclusive digital sponsor of the festivals, each event will have lounges with body marble painting, a dance video experience, and in the case of Stagecoach, a DJ.
The 70-capacity lounge is part of Pandora’s larger “Sound On” brand narrative, which helps audiences appreciate how life is enhanced with the right soundtrack. The brand platform was introduced with a multi-channel campaign focusing on holiday travel, and how the right song or podcast can make experiences like seat upgrades or missing bags more meaningful.
Now the Sound On Lounges will help fans appreciate how music can make new experiences and adventures better.
“Our brand narrative is all about the idea that every life moment is better with sound on. It’s better, deeper, more meaningful, more impactful when you have the right soundtrack,” said Pandora VP of communication and brand marketing Brad Minor. “We’re thinking about how we turn Sound On for our listeners, on our platform but also in real life.”
Minor added that more news might be coming about Pandora’s free concert events for listeners, which have included “Beyond” with Cardi B, Julia Michaels and DaniLeigh at Terminal 5 in New York Nov. 13 and “Backroads” in Nashville with Jason Aldean Nov. 27. Those events were free to Pandora listeners, who were invited based on their listening habits and likes. “[Those events provide] the chance to extend the experience of connecting listeners with their favorite artist not just on our platform but that once in a lifetime, real life moment.”
The five festivals getting Sound On Lounges were selected to reach key demographics and markets at different points throughout the year, Minor said, and will provide a breadth of experiences for the company to learn from.
“We wanted to make sure we had a steady cadence of presence at some of the most impactful festivals throughout spring and summer,” Minor said. “Also they reach different audiences based on genre. Obviously Stagecoach is very different from Electric Forest, which is different from Hangout. We wanted to try a variety of festivals and make sure we are evaluating and learning what it can look like next year as well.”
The biggest name in internet radio for more than a decade, Pandora was acquired by SiriusXM in February. Those companies boast a combined 100 million listeners in North America, which at the time of the official acquisition was called the “largest digital audio entertainment audience in the U.S.” since the acquisition the platforms have already begun integrating, with Sirius podcasts being added onto Pandora and a Pandora Now station, based on the company’s data, being added to SiriusXM’s station offerings.
Brand partnerships like the one between Pandora and AEG are becoming a big part of the business, as streaming and live experiences continue to integrate. Spotify partnered with Live Nation for the “Who We Be” UK concerts last year and puts on the “Rap Caviar” concert series. Apple put on 10 editions of the Apple Music Festival concert series in London before calling it quits in 2017.
Pandora was once directly involved in a large portion of the concert business, as it owned Ticketfly, the indie ticketing platform createdby Andrew Dreskin, before selling the company to Eventbrite for $200 million in 2017. Dreskin now sits on Eventbrite’s board of directors.