It looks like Pandora, the popular online provider of streaming music, is looking to expand it’s 2018 gameplan into the ever-popular podcasting market. In fact, Pandora CEO Roger Lynch has gone so far as to say that the company’s goals include the creation of what he likens to being a “podcasting genome project.”
The question on everyone’s minds–podcast listeners, and producers alike–is probably this: what, exactly, is a “podcasting genome project?”
According to Variety, who caught up with Lynch at a recent event in Las Vegas:
“Lynch, who joined Pandora as president and CEO in September, said that the company is working on a deep integration of podcasts that will allow users of the service to easily browse and discover new shows. Describing these efforts as a kind of podcast genome project is a nod to Pandora’s Music Genome Project — a massive database of dozens of musical attributes for every single song in the company’s music library that is being used to compile stations and aid discovery.”
In other words, Pandora wants to do with podcasting what they’ve already worked toward with streaming music online in the past. In essence, they want to become a sort of “hub” for podcasts on the web; an online medium through which podcasts can be found and accessed.
The broader question is, how would this be viewed by the podcasting community, both among producers of content, and those who listen to it and enjoy it?
For years now, iTunes has essentially led the market, as far as podcast accessibility goes. More users access podcasts through iTunes than any other service. Many similar startups have come and gone since iTunes launched its podcasting channels in June 2005, but despite the challengers, Apple has managed to outlast its competition thus far and maintains its hold in terms of leaders of podcasting distribution.
It remains anyone’s guess as to whether Pandora will become key players (and key rivals to Apple and its podcasting properties) in the future of podcasting. In the meantime, those interested can read the full Variety article online here.