April Showers Brought… Fortnite Concerts; Listener Trends April 2020

Ann Nguyen, Ad Innovation Strategy

After accepting the hard truth that our beloved reality TV shows were no longer filming, we pivoted from Keeping Up With the Kardashians to keeping up with listener trends in the month of April.

As Spring began to blossom, many households celebrated Easter and Passover while safer at home alongside parents, children, and partners, plugged into holiday playlists. We also rocked out in our living rooms to a plethora of live events turned digital, from Prince’s Grammy special to Travis Scott’s Astronomical event and kept the music going on Pandora.

To better understand the relationship between this new lifestyle and music discovery, let’s look at April’s trends:

Here Comes Peter Cottontail… Holidays are all day celebrations that require all day music to power the holiday spirit—and this year’s Easter Sunday was no exception. Pandora listeners celebrated the holiday at home, listening to Easter themed playlists from morning to night. Our “Easter Morning” playlist saw a 52,888% increase in unlocking premium access sessions Easter Sunday. And throughout the day, our “Easter” playlist enjoyed an 66,072% increase in premium access session unlocks.

Of course, these high hops in premium sessions are no surprise, why else would we listen to “Easter Morning” on any morning other than Easter? Large spikes in holiday themed playlists during each respective holiday season is a natural trend we see throughout the year. Understanding the close relationship between holiday music and holidays allows for advertisers to meet their audiences where they’re already listening - on Pandora. Think about the holidays that resonate with your audience, and we’ll find the Pandora playlist your audience is tuning into.

And Other Artists are High on the Charts… Some holidays and celebrations are so intimately tied to select artists that we couldn’t help but investigate a little further. On 4/20/20, we saw a 68% increase in premium access sessions for Snoop Dogg and a 130% increase in premium access sessions for Wiz Khalifa. We’ll let your imagination take it from here...

Post (Virtual) Concert Withdrawals We’ve all experienced it: after having your mind blown by your favorite artist at a live concert, the music, the colors, even the weird smell of the tiny venue or mega arena transcend those few hours and linger on your mind for days: post concert withdrawals. The cure? Streaming the artist’s full discography nonstop on Pandora.

However, with more live music events being transformed into digital experiences every week, we were curious to learn if listeners were still experiencing post-concert withdrawals after digital music events, too.

It turns out that answer is yes. In late April, Houston-based singer and rapper Travis Scott hosted “Astronomical”, a one-of-a-kind in-game live performance featuring the rapper himself as an avatar within the Fortnite gaming platform. Throughout the event weekend, we saw an average 228% increase in premium access sessions for Travis Scott on Pandora, which has continued well into May.

Marketer Takeaways

Developing your streaming audio strategy should keep the cultural context at the forefront to drive effective and authentic music alignment moments for your brand.

Your next steps?

  • Determine the holidays and music events that matter most to your audience and find your alignment plan - hint: Pandora’s Personal Primetimes are a great way to contextually align to moments that matter.
  • Meet with a Pandora rep to discover the music that drives these moments for your audience.
  • Leverage Pandora to meet your audiences where they’re listening through our full suite of listener led ad solutions and features.
  • With Pandora, your brand is part of the music, and the moment. Take advantage!

More on Premium Access Sessions: On Pandora, ad-supported listeners access stations, curated by our team of musicologists, that feature songs and artists similar to a song or artist of their choice. Although music discovery is at our core, we understand there’s that music moment when you want to listen to a specific song, artist or playlist. If a listener wants to unlock a specific song, artist, or playlist, listeners can engage with a 15 second video ad to unlock a 30 minute Premium Access Session. For our marketers, this ad solution is Video Plus. For our listeners, this is the key to unlocking premium access on Pandora for free. Measuring listener trends through Premium Access Sessions goes beyond what’s popular to what drives listener engagement.