It’s not hyperbole to say that technology has revolutionized the music industry. From artists being able to seamlessly upload an album to listeners around the world, to a fan being able to listen to the complete catalog of their favorite band wherever they may be, technology has made music more accessible and the connection between artists and fans stronger than ever before. At SiriusXM, we know that as well as anyone. Our world-class audio entertainment offering is premised on the idea that customers deserve and demand the ability to listen to the high-quality music, comedy, news and talk they want regardless of where or how they want to listen.
But one thing technology will never be able to replace is the human element of how we listen to things and how that very personal experience defines who we are and what we want to listen to. As some in our industry focus on designing ever-more sophisticated algorithms that force feed songs to fans, at SiriusXM we know and value the importance of developing well-honed human expertise to discover the songs, comedians, shows, and on-air hosts we share with listeners. Good radio doesn’t just happen – it takes experts both in front and behind the microphone. From programming directors, to curators, producers and your favorite on-air hosts, we’ve spent more than two decades combining the best human talent with continually evolving technology to deliver a listening experience like none other.
Our mission has and always will be cutting through the noise to connect artists with their fans while entertaining and inspiring millions of listeners, and never has having a human influence on that process been more important.
This is one of the reasons we were so excited to announce our new Artist Accelerator Program, a special initiative specially designed to bring intentionality and the magic of a little human touch to spotlighting emerging artists and help them reach new listeners and build their fanbases. The reality is that in today’s song-first-driven culture, breaking through and developing a new listener base can too often put artists at the mercy of machines; the easiest way to reach listeners is to win the algorithm lottery and happen to get added to a popular playlist. The Artist Accelerator Program is designed to be different – over the course of a year, six to 12 up-and-coming artists personally selected by our programming and curation teams will receive focused programming, marketing support and a sustained campaign to help them succeed by leveraging the reach of SiriusXM’s broadcast network and Pandora’s personalized radio offering. The result: selected artists’ work will be exposed to more than 100 million listeners to help accelerate their careers.
“Introducing our audiences to new artists and investing in those artists’ development is a core value of both SiriusXM and Pandora and we are excited to unveil our Artist Accelerator program to the industry,” said Steve Blatter, Senior Vice President/General Manager, Music Programming, SiriusXM. “The program brings together SiriusXM and Pandora to accelerate the growth of artists across our combined massive listener base.”
Maybe it’s because we still believe in the importance of DJs having a hand in picking the songs they loved to play on the radio, but the importance of human listening has been a part of our brands from the beginning. Pandora’s Music Genome Project launched 20 years ago with human music analysis at the heart of the music discovery. Before new songs appear on a popular station or you discover it on your own, they have been subjected to extensive analysis. While technology may have sped that process up, we still have musicologists ensuring that human element and analysis remains.
This is all part of our commitment to empowering fans on their audio entertainment journey. The range of content available today has made how you discover new music more important than ever before, both for creators and for fans, which is why we’re constantly looking for new ways to foster the right discovery approach for listeners. For fans, it’s about surfacing music and entertainment both new and old that fits their unique tastes for every moment, while for creators it’s establishing new avenues for even the smallest independent artist to reach millions of fans and begin earning royalties on their music.
For Coco Jones, the first artist selected by our programming and curation teams for the Artist Accelerator Program, this means having SiriusXM as the first radio outlet to support her latest single, “ICU,” which has been playing in accelerated rotation on both SiriusXM and Pandora stations since its debut in October.
“I genuinely could not be more excited to be partnered with SiriusXM and Pandora,” said Coco Jones. “The way that they’ve supported me and found new ways to highlight my future while acknowledging my past, is iconic. There’s definitely more to come, this is just the beginning! I’m excited for y’all to come with me through the whole journey!”