The other day I was half-watching, half not-watching the television when a commercial for Citibank company came on with a song by the Sea and Cake called “Jacking the Ball” as the backing track. I immediately perked up – not because I’m a big Sea and Cake fan, but because that tune made a regular appearance on my Pandora feed. Much to Pandora’s credit, I had never heard of the band until it started popping up on one of my channels (same goes for the High Back Chairs, another nifty before-Pandora-unknown-to-me act). Now, the addition of commercials to Pandora last year caused a smattering of upsetfulness among listeners, but it seems that Pandora has value to advertisers beyond providing a place to expend ad budget.
What I mean is this: could it be that Pandora is a tool that ad agencies use to search for music that fits the mood they want to set in their ads? It would make sense to me. “We want to have something here that sounds like the Kinks, but is a little wistful, like maybe Miracle Legion, and is all acoustic. Let’s put together a station and let it run for a while until we find what we need and/or what might fit our budget.”
That would sure beat having someone at the agency scout down songs and put together mix tapes of various artists for a committee to debate. I’m just wondering if anyone’s using it for such purposes yet.
Speaking of Pandora, my station is weird. The artists I cited are the Zombies, Hoodoo Gurus, Yo La Tengo, the Kinks, ELO, the Minus Five (only because Pandora doesn’t have the Young Fresh Fellows among its artists), X and Nick Lowe. I think Yo La Tengo’s the great equalizer, since I don’t think they can be classified all that easily and thus I get everything from classic rock to trippy instrumentals. I do enjoy the weird coincidences, like Johnny Thunders’ “Let Go” was followed by the Replacements’ “Johnny’s Gonna Die,” or an unintentional double shot when “Heart of the City” was backed up with “Teacher Teacher” from Rockpile. If one was a DJ with some latitude, Pandora could help point out some interesting back-to-back combinations.
See – another use besides just enjoying music! Huzzah for technology!
Filed under: Industry, Internet Tagged: | ELO, High Back Chairs, Hoodoo Gurus, Johnny Thunders, Kinks, Minus Five, Miracle Legion, Nick Lowe, Pandora, Replacements, Rockpile, The Sea and Cake, X, Yo La Tengo, Young Fresh Fellows, Zombies