Music streaming service Pandora is currently in the pilot phase with a new service that will allow musicians to send personalized audio messages to listeners. The new feature was announced this week at the Code/Media conference in California. For now, only a small number of artists are able to access the service.
One of those artists is Lenny Kravitz, but there are others participating as well. Pandora expects the service to expand past the pilot stage and it is called Artist Audio Messaging. Artists can use the service to announce tours, albums, or provide context to a song.
Artist Audio Messaging is another tool that Pandora is using to try to set itself apart from other services for artists. Pandora already has an analytics service that artists can use to view details on where their listeners are from and what songs are their favorites.
Pandora fonder Tim Westergren also said that eventually the artist might even be able to set up a sort of virtual tip jar that would allow fans to support the artist directly. Westergren also took time to point out that Pandora did make a small profit last year, its first time for profitability.