Speaking at the Code/Media conference on Wednesday, internet radio service Pandora’s founder Tim Westergren said that the company will begin testing a tool that allows music artists to quickly capture and send audio messages to their fans.
The new service, named Artist Audio Messaging, will initially be available to a select group of artists that includes the likes of Lenny Kravitz. The idea behind it is to allow musicians to announce upcoming shows, releases and share trivia with their listeners.
It’s kind of like Vine for bands, only in audio. Westergren described an artist using a smartphone to record a short message announcing their next concert date and venue, and sharing it instantly on Pandora.
This is another move by the company to empower artists on its network. Pandora launched a free analytics service last October to help musicians understand where their audiences are from, and which of their tracks are most favored by listeners.
Westergren believes that the new service, along with a planned virtual “tip jar”, will help turn artists’ audiences into patrons who can continually support their work.