When you think of consuming podcasts, Pandora might not be at the top of your list of spots to find them, but they're looking to change that with the announcement of their podcast offerings. Starting today, Pandora has opened the doors to select mobile beta testers for their podcast service.
"It might feel like podcasts are ubiquitous, but, eighty-three 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 Roger Lynch, Chief Executive Officer, Pandora. "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."
That ease of discovery for Pandora comes by way of the Podcast Genome Project, which according to Pandora, uses a combination of technology and human curation to deliver personalized content recommendations, not unlike their Music Genome Project, which helps Pandora users discover new music.
The Podcast Genome Project recommends the right podcasts to the right listeners at the right time, solving the questions, "is there a podcast that's right for me?" and "what should I listen to next?" It evaluates content based on more than 1500 attributes – spanning MPAA ratings, timely and evergreen topics, production style, content type, host profile, etc – and listener signals including thumbs, skips and replays. It also utilizes machine learning algorithms, natural language processing, and collaborative filtering methods for listener preferences.
You can read the full announcement from Pandora right here, or if you're looking to sign up for the beta on Android, you can do that right here. Pandora notes general availability will happen in the coming weeks. If you're already a Pandora user, be sure to sign up with the email associated with your Pandora account.