Pandora Unveils AMP Allowing Artists To See Their Data – And It’s Awesome

It’s been a long time coming. This past May at the SF MusicTech Summit I was told by Pandora’s VP of Business Affairs, Chris Harrison, that this was coming. An exact date had yet to be announced. Well, AMP was officially unveiled yesterday. And it’s awesome.

AMP gives artists an in-depth glimpse into their listener data. I signed up my artist account yesterday and within an hour was approved to start navigating.

Overview

On first glimpse it’s very impressive. Lots of data. The Overview page lists the top 5 tracks, total track spins, total stations added and total listeners of the past 7, 30 or 90 days. Unfortunately there’s no filter for “All Time.” Hopefully that’s coming.

overview

Stations

The Stations Page lists total stations created (by listeners) and displays a graph (from the previous 7, 30 or 90 days) when stations were created. Nice to see.

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stations

The final two pages are the most helpful.

Tracks

The Tracks page lists all tracks by the artist available on Pandora. It lists total spins (within the date range selected). On first glance it doesn’t look like we’re able to view “all time” stats (since the song was added to Pandora), BUT by clicking on the track itself, it opens up a fantastic box that compares Last 90 Days to “Since Added To Pandora.” It also reveals the Genome Attributes (which are hilarious – “a subtle use of vocal harmony”)

track-spins

What’s very revealing, is that the most played song from the album I released this year is one I never would have expected. It’s the third most played song of mine on Pandora (for the past 90 days) and it’s one I never would have selected as a single or music video – until now.

The only thing is, I don’t know how Pandora decides to add a song to a station’s rotation. Is it just getting played more because Pandora felt like it? Or is it because more people Thumbed Up that song? You’d think it’s the latter, but (because we’re able to see up thumb percentages) that song only has a 9% up thumb ratio (uh – meaning 91% people down thumbed it…Yikes!) whereas the actual lead single off of my new album (10th most played song in the past 90 days) has a 37% up thumb ratio. And the 21st most played song (which I was anticipating to by my 2nd single) has a 100% up thumb ratio – but only 35 plays in the past 90 days. Other songs with fewer plays have 100% up thumb ratio as well. Makes no sense!

Will I be selecting my next single based on this information? I think I’m actually more confused now.

So a bit more transparency into HOW their play system works would definitely help.

There’s also a column that has up or down arrows with a percentage next to it. But there’s no title to that column. Or any explanation in the FAQ. I’m assuming it’s Tim Westergren’s approval rating of me this week. Yeah, I’m going with that.

top-tracks

Being able to see the songs which are getting active ‘airplay’ on Pandora will enable artists to cross reference this data with SoundExchange to make sure those statements are correct and fully inclusive of every song. Depending on how deep you want to get with data analysis, you could compare your total SoundExchange royalties with total Pandora spins and reveal EXACTLY how much you make per spin from SoundExchange. Send me that info will ya? Or maybe I’ll spend a day and do this.Included in the Pandora press release is a statement from Andy Grammer‘s manager Ben Singer:

“This is a total game changer for us. Our research shows us that the majority of Andy’s fans consume music on Pandora. To have access to these analytics will only help us better serve his fans as the music industry continues to evolve.”

And Troy Carter (CEO and founder of management company Atom Factory – John Mayer, John Legend, Lindsey Stirling, Meghan Trainor, among others) said:

“Actually seeing where people are listening to an artist’s music and being able to track listening spikes will be hugely beneficial. It is exciting to think about not only what I will learn about my artists, but how I will be able to use this information in the future. I love that Pandora has chosen to openly share this data with artists.”

The Listeners

Which, yes, brings us to the final (and most helpful) page on AMP. The Listeners. Unfortunately there is no Total Listeners number (since added to Pandora) anywhere to be found (even though in the FAQ it says it can be – probably a minor glitch to be worked out shortly). BUT we’re able to see the US location breakdown of “Listeners across Pandora” as well as “Listeners on your Station.” Who would have guessed that the 4th most popular city for my music on Pandora is Salt Lake City. Not me! Only been there once. Very beautiful. Will have to go back soon. But, it’s important to realize that the stats from Listeners across Pandora are not necessarily fans. Just people who are listening to a station that my music happens to pop up on. Probably when they’re at work. Getting yelled at by their boss. Probably why my down thumb ratio is so high. Thanks a lot boss! Or maybe my music sucks. Strong possibility as well.

listeners-across-pandora

Speaking of which, it would be nice to see how my songs compare to ‘similar artists.’ Are their up thumb ratios similar to mine? Or should I go wallow in a pit of despair for the next 3 months?

But I digress.

The “Listeners on your Station” filter is probably the most useful tool as to finding the best cities to tour.

My favorite part of this entire AMP platform is the ability to click on a city on the map and it reveals the listener percentage for that location. Why no love Lubbock. TX?! Dallas and Houston, thanks for having my back!

I started my music career in Minneapolis and played Milwaukee’s Summerfest 5 years in a row. It makes sense that those are my top two cities for “Listeners on your Station.” And there’s a tiny little listening room in Green Bay, WI that has been so kind to me over the years that I have made sure to always make a stop up there whenever I can (even if it means I have to bump a bigger city off the tour). Shout out to House of Valdar! So, makes sense as to why Green Bay is my 5th highest city in this category. Baltimore, MD though? No idea why they’re ranked 9th. But shit, I guess I have to get there soon!

listeners-to-your-station

I would like to see more data filtering – specifically with date ranges. It would be nice to compare my spins from a year ago to today. Along with listener locations from last Spring’s tour. If I could see how visiting a city directly affected (or didn’t affect) my Pandora spins (and stations) that would be tremendously helpful. Also, when a new tour is announced, I’ll be curious to see if those cities spike in plays and stations created.

I’d also like the ability to add show dates, tickets and merch (or sync this up with BandPage or BandsInTown) to my profile and station.

It would be nice that if anyone up thumbed one of my songs they would get pinged whenever I announced a show date near their location. THAT would definitely help my ticket sales.

Overall, I’m thrilled that Pandora has FINALLY made this data open and available to artists in a very beautiful, streamlined and intuitive interface. No Next Big Sound BS (yes I’m looking at you Spotify!)

For as much shit as Pandora has received over the years from artists (and this publication), I would like to publicly thank them for this and state that this is a MAJOR win for artists, managers and booking agents nationwide. Pissed about your low royalties? Think of it as an admin cost for this incredibly powerful and illuminating tool to help your career.

“With AMP, we hope to make the day in and day out easier for artists by eliminating the guesswork. From finding out what songs are performing well to inform singles or set lists, to mapping where an artist’s fan base is to inform tour schedules, our ultimate goal is to help artists across the spectrum build and maintain their careers.” – Tim Westergren, Founder, Pandora

Sign up to see your artist account here: http://amp.pandora.com

Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter and the creator of the music biz advice blog Ari’s Take. Follow him on twitter: @aristake


31 Responses

  1. RemiSwierczek

    Ari it’s all nice but there is no serious MONEY there for Pandora or artists.

    Time to convert Pandora to discovery based music store. Then and only then you will be able to see REALLY nice table or chart showing transfers to your BANK ACCOUNT.

    Reply
  2. Justin Mayer

    interesting, Say What You Will is your best song, but not according to the listeners.

    I would have produced it a little different, the verses are just a little too soft or else not soft enough, but the hook is real nice and it escalates to it nicely throughout the song. The breakdown or lift or prechorus, while escalating nicely, again, i think could be just a bit more refined.

    I also think the verses are just too much of that alternative indie pop wannabe radio kind of sound, a song like this needs a bit more grit boss, a bit more rawness. Doesn’t have to be a lot, but aint like its gonna get much mainstream roti as that doesnt seem like your angle and image, so as a producer i think its a bit of an oversight and really takes away from the message of the song and the overall direction of your branding.

    It’s just for me its real MOR, which is cool, but the message is anything but MOR and because of that it gets totally lost or at least doesn’t transmit as well as it should. Else if going with that more radio type mainstreamy sound in hopes of catching on, the lyrics would be best tweaked a bit to not be so pointed in the message. The hook could stay the exact same and the rest just a bit more vague, saying the same thing, but now not as pointed so as to be acceptable.

    Most importantly you killed the hook, so its tough to go wrong once you do that.

    I just think perhaps the wrong compromises were made on that particular song, Otherwise real good job on it.

    Reply
  3. Me

    FYI your link to AMP is broken. I think there’s an extra space in there or something.

    Reply
  4. getting paid is more awesome.

    ya know what would be more awesome? getting paid fairly… that would be more awesome… don’t fall for the bells and whistles… data doesn’t pay the rent – and really – are there any surprises here? what are you going to find in the Pandora data you don’t already know? Are you suddenly going to book a gig for $5k because Pandora shows plays there? Unlikely.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      What part is unfair? The part where they pay songwriters more per play than terrestrial radio? Or how they pay artists/labels when terrestrial radio pays nothing?

      Reply
      • Sorry Shill...

        I guess you haven’t heard of the IRFA or the issues with the consent decree that doesn’t allow artists to opt out?

        Reply
  5. Anonymous

    “this is a MAJOR win for artists”

    Um, no. Let me tell you what would be a major win for artists: If we were allowed to remove our songs from Pandora.

    But we’re not. People like Mr. Westergren can’t make millions without them.

    Reply
  6. DNog

    Good stuff Ari…and much respect for putting up your personal stat info…especially on this site.

    Reply
  7. Paul Resnikoff
    Paul Resnikoff

    You’d think it’s the latter, but (because we’re able to see up thumb percentages) that song only has a 9% up thumb ratio (uh – meaning 91% people down thumbed it…Yikes!)

    I don’t think this means that 91% down thumbed it? Rather, didn’t bother to rate it more like?

    Reply
    • anonymous

      That’s exactly what I was thinking when I read that, Paul. The left over percentage could have gave it a thumb down or not rated it at all.

      Reply
  8. Paul Resnikoff
    Paul Resnikoff

    Pissed about your low royalties? Think of it as an admin cost for this incredibly powerful and illuminating tool to help your career.

    Wouldn’t it be better if they both paid artists well and gave them analytics? For example, how about a city that has safe streets and a subway system, all at the same time?

    I guess I’d feel a lot differently about this company if they provided great analytics AND

    (a) didn’t fight so aggressively (in court, in Congress, and even by purchasing radio stations) to lower artist royalties;

    (b) didn’t actively try to trick artists into thinking they were getting more royalties;

    (c) the top executives didn’t cash out millions every month and buy gigantic houses and exotic cars while artists scraped by;

    (d) the company wasn’t hemorrhaging millions;

    (e) they didn’t have lavish New York offices that would put the Sultan of Brunei to shame

    and

    (f) I thought they were going to be around in 5 years.

    Sorry, I guess I want it all!

    Reply
    • Me

      “Wouldn’t it be better if they both paid artists well and gave them analytics? For example, how about a city that has safe streets and a subway system, all at the same time?”

      Or how about a digital music news blog that reported on digital music and refrained from posting celebrity gossip opinion pieces thinly disguised as articles?

      Reply
      • Paul Resnikoff
        Paul Resnikoff

        I respect your complaints or whatever feedback you have about this publication (constructive or otherwise), but this is really what we’d call an ‘ad hominen attack’. Meaning, the discussion is about Pandora, not Digital Music News.

        If I criticize Obama on foreign policy, and you say, ‘Paul Resnikoff is a militant vegan who believes in euthanizing puppies,’ then we’re not really focusing on the issue of Obama’s foreign policy anymore!

        Reply
    • Lionel

      “(c) the top executives didn’t cash out millions every month and buy gigantic houses and exotic cars while artists scraped by;

      (e) they didn’t have lavish New York offices that would put the Sultan of Brunei to shame”

      These points are emotional, uninformed, bitter and entirely incorrect. How much do you think an artist gets every-time someone streams their song from: Youtube, Soundcloud, Genius, Grooveshark, ect.?!? The answer is- NOTHING. C’mon sir, it’s 2014 – no one is paying for music. At least artists get something from Pandora. And – the AMP has been in beta for some time now, and I remember reading about several artists who sold-out venues, and went on tours they normally wouldn’t have, based on the geo-data provided to them from Pandora. Lastly, if you think that companies like Pandora and Spotify wouldn’t rather pay artists more money directly – you are insane. The corporations you are infuriated by, are actually the long-standing record companies and publishing houses that get in they way and take upwards of 80% of what is paid out by Pandora/Spotify/Rdio

      Reply
      • Paul Resnikoff
        Paul Resnikoff

        I remember reading about several artists who sold-out venues, and went on tours they normally wouldn’t have, based on the geo-data provided to them from Pandora.

        Like… who?

        Reply
      • Anonymous

        Yes, he continues to pretend that Pandora’s executives cashing out their shares in Pandora is somehow harming artists.

        Reply
    • Anonymous

      A. So they shouldn’t fight aggressively even though that is exactly what they music industry does every day?

      A Part 2/C/D. So you are upset they are losing millions but also upset that they are not paying enough and want to pay less so they don’t lose millions? That makes no sense.

      Reply
    • An Indie

      Paul, I’m all for you taking Pandora to task for their attempts to cut artist royalties but I do wish you’d give some equal time to the fact that SiriusXM pays an even lower royalty rate than Pandora (a SatCaster rate of 9% of “music programming based revenues” vs. the “pureplay webcaster” rate that Pandora pays) & that U.S. FM radio stations are the only in the industrialized world that don’t pay artist performance royalties. As for analytics tools from either of the latter? Nada! Seems like fertile ground for some DMN coverage.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        I’ve noticed people don’t care about unfairness as long as it is the status quo for a long enough time. Broadcasters have been fucking over artists for a century? That’s okay b/c that’s how it always was, bro. Pandora literally pays infinity more times more royalties, and most of their revenue goes directly to artists. They are literally Hitler man.

        Reply
        • Remi Swierczek

          “Broadcasters have been fucking over artists for a century?”
          Agreed, but now we have technology to convert the Radio to simple music store!
          If you consider that streaming and TV are also a broadcasters we can have $100B music industry by 2020.

          Reply
  9. Willis

    Awesome! This is the best thing since the last best thing. I’m giddy with excitement and probably won’t sleep a wink for months.

    Whatever – meh.

    The proof is in the Jell-o pudding pop.

    Reply
  10. Chris H

    This type of data has the potential to be great, but not as constructed and it’s not from an ideal source.

    A data backend of SALES channels (where you can rate actual demand and not guess if you are being test driven), would be the be all end all. Itunes with their non-specific data would revolutionize a lot of the businesses of the music industry. Streaming is a little too passive data for me.

    Reply
  11. tippysdemise

    AMP is helpful and appreciated, but there’s no context. Agreed that it should display statistics from similar artists.

    Reply
  12. Anonymous

    in reply to a question on a deleted article…

    is this a trial?

    is this a court of law?

    Who are you? lets see some identification! whats your legal name, who do you work for or what company do you own?

    why would i be giving evidence to a bunch of people who many of them know exactly what is going on, BECAUSE THEY ARE COMPLICIT IN IT!!!!!!!!!!!

    i am under zero obligation to provide evidence here of anything, period!

    how long will society let all this kind of stuff go on for? its preposterous…

    Like im just going to publicly post evidence to tip yall off so you can try and cover your tracks and come up with some sort of story or lie to try and deflect the guilt elsewhere or save yall from the punishment that should occur.

    Im done with music, yall dont have to worry about that, you or your companies or your brethrens or your competition have stolen my property to make yours or their own, mine was unreleased, unfinished, unpublished, and a lot of theirs gets shipped off to the charts, in some cases, all for monetary benefit, more fame, more fans, higher fees, more merchandise sold, and not one of them has paid me a penny for the hard work i have done.

    They don’t have a leg to stand on, because they are snakes! They have zero right to my property. Even the sharing of my unfinished, unreleased, unpublished work is highly criminal, but its the other stuff thats the big problem.

    Everyone knows all this stuff happens but everyone always figures they are going to be OJ, the one with the bloody murdering hands that everyone knows is guilty but because of the way the silly justice system works figures they might have a chance at getting away with it scott free. So they put the fake smiley face on and lie lie lie deny. And then 30 ought years later the truth comes out and they sell a book and make some more money and everyone forgives them and celebrates them all while the victim gets further screwed and further stolen from and further tossed aside. We live in a society where the thieves and criminals are celebrated and rewarded and one in which the victims have very little recourse to justice. Its sickening and leaves me wanting nothing to do with it. Certainly not a place id ever want to raise children.

    That may be true that they will get away like OJ, but that doesnt mean, acting in self defense and to protect my property, that i wont spend the rest of my life letting as many people know about it as possible. For one so that they can avoid the same pitfalls and two so that perhaps i can maybe tip off enough people so all your or their sponsors and endorsements dry up and so that they ultimately have to play the game and get dealt the same realities the majority of people out there do. Else if their desire for fame is that large, they can spend their own money on it all. Basically anything to make all your and their lives as miserable and annoying as possible simply out of self defense and protection of my property and of course because thats what they are doing to me.

    The extortion and the death threats are just so lame, boring and played out! Ive been getting them for years now, means nothing, we all dead anyways, so take your hired goons elsewhere already or else pull the trigger and be done with it!

    So if this is troublesome to yall, well, its only going to get worse.

    I do not make wild based accusations. I wait until i have enough evidence, admissible and inadmissible, and then i put my foot down, Thats why i dont budge, because i dont need to!

    This stuff isnt just throwing something against the wall and seeing what sticks. This isnt deflection or covering up my own actions! At most anything anyone has me on is simple petty misdemeanors, at best, mostly its nothing anyone would waste any time over because theyd spend more on litigation then they would ever get through justice, and they know it! Cause im like squeaky clean. In this case and for what is being done to me, the level of their crimes is imprison-able to long terms wtih large amounts of money and property involved, therefore even a million in litigation fees wont come close to the amount the settlement should fairly be.

    For another example, Adam Levine and his team are well aware of what they do and did, he knows, i know, if you dont it does nothing but out yourselves as someone clueless to whats happening out there, and they are just as culpable and liable and implicit in these crimes as the rest, and since their record and song in question are skyrocketing up the charts, thanks to their thieving of MY PROPERTY, well they obviously owe me a nice fat settlement cheque.

    However since they are rich and famous and rolling with other rich and powerful people and companies, all cushy cushy with banks and wall street and the networks and academy and charts etc. I have so little pull, i have so little power, i have so little muscle, there is very little i can do in the big scheme of things, therefore since they have already sold themselves out through their actions, which are not retributive in any way to my actions, then simply making as many people aware of the reality of whats happening is my only recourse at the moment. That isnt selling anyone or anything out. That is merely standing up and screaming rape and pointing out the criminal parties involved.

    Whether or not they all have contracts that makes them ultimately not liable for each-others actions is besides the point. What i do know is that society is currently being led by killers and thieves and those soccer moms, regardless how much they want to get humped on by an Adam Levine and how much they think these people are saints and pure divine creatures of magnificent qualities, the reality is they are all evil criminals of sin and are only parading around like they are from thieving peoples property like mine to make theirs. PERIOD!

    They know. If you know them, ask them off the record, i wont use it, i dont need to. The more people that know the merrier. Of course they are all under NDA’s to protect their precious custodian corporations so they may not even be allowed to. But ask them and look deeply in their eyes, no one can hide their lies through their eyes and oh boy are theirs guilty as sin!

    Good track by the way, the levine track in question that im using as one simple example, very well done, they should have waited until i released and published mine first!!! Why do they think i waited a good year to release and publish my last record??? Even then that doesnt negate the fact they should not get a copy of it until it is released. That should be when they get to pick up their pencils and crayons and come at me, otherwise its a 1-way connection, everything flows to them and nothing comes back but piss shit and vinegar! Of course its rigged to only their advantage. If everyone is fine with that and society is willing to allow that to continue, no problem, ill be leaving this continent to some remote place or else trekking off into the forest to never be seen again, as i would never want to raise a child in that kind of society!

    Once Published its pretty much fair game, whether a song, record, photo, image, show, play, software, whatever. But to come around and one way or another get my rough copies and then get my unfinished unreleased unpublished good copies and to use them as blueprints or motivation or inspiration for their property which they are using to their public monetary benefit amongst other things. Well that is highly illegal and criminal!

    That spendology court case goes to show that having a registered or published trademark isnt evidence of anything. Who made it first, that means more. They are probably smart enough to have a bunch of stencils laying around with old dates on the files so that if brought to court or in front of a judge or jury they can generate enough reasonable doubt to get away with it or else settle for a lot less or else to put the plaintiff in enough financial debt and pressure that they settle for less or give up the case. They are all nothing more then chop shop fraudsters and charlatan criminals, and thats just the way it is!

    I dont want investment to do music from any of them as they obviously dont pay for hard work done and amazing results, im also not interested in being on the charts, well cause i already am, and im not interested in some over priced star on some piece of pavement or to have my face pummelled over the show or anything. Thats not why im doing any of this. Now i just want my nice well deserved fair SETTLEMENT cheque. Otherwise theyll have to trump another conspiracy to knock me off and 30 some odd years down the road the truth can come out and the show will go on, same as it ever was!

    Use me as your pinata and skittle tree, but not until its published, PERIOD! I cant stop people from finding inspiration and motivation from what i do, which is ultimately flattering, but apparently i also cant stop them from thieving rough copies of what i do, and that is wrong and that is where the problem is.

    Thats only the tip of the iceberg to whats happening, at least to me. Of course im not the centre of the universe, each persons path through this life is different, so what im experiencing will not be happening to everyone and what makes me change course may not be of any concern to someone else. That being said none of that negates the realities of my world and the criminal actions of others upon and towards me that i am dealing with.

    Call me crazy all you want, just as im sure they burnt the first person to claim the world wasnt flat on a stake. Im all good because i know that time reveals everything, and while it may have ruined another good chance at a career and living, in the end, i will win!

    Thanks for reading and thanks for your time i very much appreciate it!

    If anyone is interested in some consultation or needs help negotiating, my services are available, however i am not doing this in an effort to promote or advertise for business, just offering it up as i have been fully decimated and gutted here, so anything helps in order to keep surviving.

    JUSTIN MAYER

    Reply
    • Buddy Zappa

      I agree with you whole heartedly…. I can relate to your frustration and anger… though my experience is on a much smaller scale… it still has the same effect.
      I think the only recourse we have… the only action left to take is a complete revolt.
      That is, EVERY artist, musician, and band take ALL of their free streaming down… ALL of their free downloads,
      and ALL of their Youtube vidoe’s… Simply take them all down, crush the industry, kick’em where it hurts and start all over again… Only this time each individual artist, musician, & band is their own label, their own publishing company, their own business.
      Nobody put a gun to anybodies head and forced them to give their music away for free.
      We all did it because it was the cool thing to do at the time… or at least we thought it was.
      Nobody thought of the repercussions down the road from massive free product being heaped on the market.
      Free kills any market… I don’t care what the product is. It needs to stop NOW!!!

      Reply

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