Pandora helps artists connect better with fans via its new AMPcast feature

With the battle for music streaming supremacy showing no signs of slowing down, each service has to do as much as it can to prove itself as the music streaming option, both for fans and artists. Some are doing this through the sheer size of their catalog, or via exclusive releases from artists, but Pandora is taking a different approach.

Yesterday Pandora announced a new feature it calls AMPcast, which aims to help artists better connect and communicate with their fans. The new feature allows artists to send “spontaneous audio messages” to the service’s 80 million users.

“AMPcast has the potential to change the odds for musicians,” said Pandora founder Tim Westergren, himself a former touring musician. “This powerful tool, combined with the scale and reach of Pandora, gives every talented and hard-working artist a real shot to build a career in music. Marketing and promotion for artists will never be the same.”

Pandora launched a very similar feature to this just over a year ago. Artist Audio Messaging provided the same sort of communication, but involved a more cumbersome process for artists, requiring them to record messages in a studio. With AMPcast, artists can record and send messages right from their phones.

“Lately I’ve been using AMPcast to spread the word,” rapper G-Eazy said. “It’s as easy as it can possibly be. Pandora is changing the game with this one.”

While artists can use AMPcast for anything, Pandora intends for the new feature to be used to alert fans of upcoming releases, tour dates, and other information. Essentially, the company wants to create a sort of audio-only Twitter feed for artists to keep their fans updated.

The new feature is available to a small group of select artists right now, and will roll out for all artists “within the coming months.” For fans, everything needed to get messages from their favorite artists is already in place.

Smart Home

Walmart serves up a rare deal on the Google Home Max at $100 off

Some deals are predictable and others are pre-announced, but today Walmart posted a rare deal: $100 off the powerful Google Home Max. Since it rarely goes on sale, waiting may not be prudent. If you want one, grab it.
Emerging Tech

Astronomers plan to beam Earth’s greatest hits into deep space, and you can help

A new project from the SETI Institute (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) will give the public the chance to submit compositions to be beamed into space, with the aim of connecting people around the world through music.
Home Theater

Pandora now lets you mess with the secret sauce for its music playlists

Pandora introduced a new feature called Modes, allowing subscribers to pick between six different algorithms that determine what the popular music streaming service will decide to play.
Computing

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what to do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether you prefer to use an email client or Windows 10.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: Deadwood, John Wick 3, Shazam, and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for John Wick: Chapter 3, Deadwood, Shazam!, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: Cold War, Shoplifters, and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Cold War follows a tragic romance, The Inventor examines a famous fraud case, and more.
Movies & TV

Apple teases Monday’s big event with an early look into Steve Jobs Theater

Apple is gearing up for a big event on Monday where it's expected to unveil a video-streaming service. But more than 12 hours before it starts, the company has apparently already cranked up the event's livestream ...
Home Theater

TCL drops the price of its 75-inch 6-Series 4K Roku TV to $1,500

March is a great time for TV deals, and we've got a whopper: TCL has taken $300 off the price of its superb 75-inch 6-Series 4K HDR Roku TV, making it $1,500. That's the lowest price ever on this affordable TV.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is minutes away: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.
Apple

Apple March 2019 Event Coverage

Apple’s next event will take place March 25 at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California at 10 a.m. PT. We’ve got a handy guide on how to watch, but don’t expect to see any new iPads, iMacs, or AirPods at the show, all of…
Apple

Apple’s Netflix competitor Apple TV Plus headlines a barrage of new services

Apple's It's Show Time event in Cupertino, California, is officially over, with the tech giant announcing a new video-streaming service to compete with Netflix and Amazon, a new way to subscribe to paid news outlets, and more.
Computing

DisplayPort and HDMI both connect to screens, but here's how they're different

HDMI and DisplayPort are two of the most popular connectors for hooking up consoles, gaming PCs, TVs, and monitors, but which is best? To find out, we pitted HDMI vs. DisplayPort and compared their best and worst features.
Home Theater

Apple’s new TV app: All of your shows, on (almost) every device you own

Apple is updating its TV App into a truly cross-platform one-stop shop for all of your movies and TV shows. It will appear on smart TVs and devices from Roku and Amazon, but there are still questions about features and price.
Home Theater

All of the TVs and devices getting Apple’s AirPlay 2 and Apple TV in 2019

Apple is done keeping its AirPlay wireless streaming technology to itself. These are all of the TVs and devices that will get AirPlay 2, and the new TV App, in 2019. The list is growing, so check back regularly.