SiriusXM’s Pandora Now takes a radio-style approach to play the top hits

SiriusXM has been developing a new content strategy for Pandora since it purchased the popular radio-style streaming service for $3.5 billion earlier this year, announcing the first cross-platform “experience” between the two services.

Called Pandora Now, it’s a new channel that appears on both services, and features a curated assortment of the most listened-to and most-trending music across all genres on Pandora. By adding the element of human curation, Pandora Now takes a more traditional radio-style approach to the data from Pandora’s millions of active listeners. It’s like a pop radio station with big data to back it up.

“We’re excited to combine, for the first time, the wealth of Pandora listener data with the proven curation expertise of our SiriusXM team to give our combined 100 million listeners a truly unique and unprecedented listening experience,” Scott Greenstein, president of SiriusXM, said in a statement. “Not only will Pandora NOW give listeners exclusive, up-to-the-moment access to the music people are streaming on Pandora the most, but it will let music fans influence which songs are played.”

Even though Pandora Now might essentially echo the top radio charts at any given moment — which largely echo the most-streamed songs on the service — it’s good to see SiriusXM taking advantage of all of the play information from Pandora now that it has access to it. This kind of collaboration is a great way to make listeners themselves feel involved in the process of curation and it also means that the station will react to and play what audiences want.

Pandora, which was one of the first music streaming services to boast quality algorithmic suggestions, is still doing cool things since it was absorbed by the satellite radio powerhouse. The company recently began allowing listeners more control over the specific algorithm that the service used to suggest new tunes and is reportedly also working on a way for A.I. to find more personalized ads for its ad-based listeners.

In any case, we’re interested to see how this new channel develops and those that may follow. With the two companies working together on new products, it provides another reason to consider it versus streaming giants like Spotify and Apple Music.

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