Pandora has a new way for artists to connect with their fans on the personal radio service: by talking at them. It’s launched a new feature called Artist Audio Messaging which, according to founder Tim Westergren, “provides artists the ability to send personalized messages to their fans on Pandora”. Initially, a small group of musicians are testing it as a pilot, before a wider rollout “over time”. 

Lenny Kravitz is one of those guinea pigs. “We’re excited by the range of possibilities of what these messages could be: a tour announcement, new album drop, a crowd-funding campaign, the story behind their latest song or simply a thank you to fans for listening,” wrote Westergren in a blog post announcing the new feature, which sits alongside Pandora’s AMP analytics platform. “During this pilot period, we’re working closely with artists to craft the content and delivery of their messages.” The key question: will this evolve into an advertising format that artists will have to pay for?

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