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Pandora makes mobile streaming more social with Facebook integration

Pandora is rolling out a new Facebook application that integrates with the company?s mobile applications and Web site to let consumers share their favorite music.

The Pandora Timeline App is meant to tap into the passion that music fans have with bands and artists. Even though Pandora has previously enabled social media options from its apps and Web site, the company has been careful about how its services integrate with social.

?We?ve always been cautious about social and how it works ? our fans look at music as something social, but only on their terms,? said Brian Colbert, vice president of mobile advertising sales at Pandora, Oakland, CA.

?The new Facebook integration makes Pandora social, but is actually also more of a home for music to live in a more contextually-relevant way,? he said.

Getting social
Pandora?s iPhone and Android app have been updated to integrate the new Facebook feature.

Once the new version of the app is downloaded, consumers are prompted of the new feature when it is opened.

Users must then opt-in to make their Pandora profile public to enable sharing.

Consumers can also customize which pieces of music they share on Facebook under the settings tab. Three pieces of content ? listening activity, likes and follows ? can be shared.

The new app is also aimed at making it easier for consumers to discover new music that their friends are listening to.

Consumers can see their music activity either directly through the Facebook News Feed or via the music section of their profile.

Similar to how other music services such as Spotify or Rdio are integrated into the music section, Pandora radio stations that consumers are listening to are listed in the section.

Clicking on a radio station drops users back into the Pandora mobile app or directs users to Pandora?s Web site.

?This update makes it easier with what they want to share, not forcing them to share,? Mr. Colbert said.

?The user is the control of how they want to share and where they share it,? he said.

Mobile listening
Pandora is seeing big growth in mobile.

The company currently has more than 200 million mobile registered users and more than 70 million active monthly listeners.

Additionally, more than 75 percent of Pandora?s total listening comes from mobile and other connected devices.

Pandora also claims that 140 million listeners have used the service on a mobile device.

Most recently, Pandora offered consumers a year of ad-free music to celebrate the launch of its Windows 8 app (see story).

?So much usage is coming from mobile devices that we decided that this was the right time to take the experience to the next level,? Mr. Colbert said.

?When we do sharing and social, it?s about the fans,? he said. ?We have finally cracked the code with a way to be social that is relevant and not just doing social for the sake of doing social.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York