There’s a new must-hear service dedicated the legions of people who listen to podcasts during your commute, while traveling, or while doing busy work around your home or office. Pandora, the longtime pioneer of algorithm-based music discovery, has launched a new segment of its service that’s dedicated exclusively to podcasts.
Powered by what the company calls the Podcast Genome Project (similar to the Music Genome Project that fuels its popular radio-style music side), the new podcast offering uses a combination of computer and human-based curation to find the best podcasts for you.
The Podcast Genome Project evaluates content based on more than 1500 different attributes — everything from MPAA ratings, breaking topics, production style, content type, host profile, and countless other things are considered. It even uses machine learning to evaluate what the company calls “listener signals,” which include thumbs up, skips, and replays.
All of this means that finding the best new podcasts for you should be easier than ever.
“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,“ said Chris Phillips, Pandora’s chief product officer, in a press release. “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.”
In making it easier to find podcasts that are well-suited to each listener’s interest, Pandora hopes to be at the forefront of the growing podcast market.
“It might feel like podcasts are ubiquitous, but, 83 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,” said Pandora CEO Roger Lynch. “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.”
The new service is currently in beta, and is available to select listeners on mobile devices. You can sign up here to potentially gain access to the beta, and the company says that the general public will have access to the new service in a few weeks.