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Stories STARTER GUIDE

ONE-SHEET

GETTING STARTED

Before you start using AMP to connect with your fans through intimate, curated experiences on Pandora, follow the steps below to create your curator profile and set yourself up for success.


STEP 1: ESTABLISHING YOUR CURATOR IDENTITY

When setting up your curator profile, consider the overall brand and voice of your curator identity. Make sure your curator name, bio, and profile photo are cohesive and consistent in their style and tone.

  • Your curator name appears alongside all Programs you create so it should be broad enough to encompass all topics you plan to discuss

  • Your bio will appear on your curator profile and should give fans an enticing preview of what they can expect from your Programs

  • Your curator profile photo is the default image that fans see as they search for and interact with your Programs on Pandora - make sure that it’s eye-catching and distinctive so fans can quickly recognize it as they browse

Please note the following guidelines while choosing your curator name:

  • Limit of 255 characters

  • Name cannot intentionally mislead listeners

  • Name cannot include the word “Pandora” or any Pandora branding

  • Explicit language is not allowed. This includes:

    • Sexually explicit / pornographic material

    • Hate speech

Pro-tip: When choosing your curator name, consider what you want as the byline for your Pandora Story. If you would like different brands to maintain separate identities, we suggest creating separate curator profiles for each one.


STEP 2: FINDING YOUR VOICE

The final step before you begin creating Programs is to determine your hosting style and hosting format.

HOSTING STYLE

As you prepare to host Programs, make sure your voice content is consistent with the tone that you established when you created your curator identity. Is your brand fun and conversational? Serious and informative?

Build trust and credibility with your fans by consistently delivering content that meets the expectations you defined when setting up your profile.

To listen to example Voice Tracks, please see the Pandora Stories Playbook page.

HOSTING FORMAT

Consider the purpose of your Program. Creators should choose the format that best suits the hosting style of their Program. Are you adding commentary to a music or comedy experience? Are you using music and/or comedy to underscore a spoken experience?

These questions should inform your choice of format for the Program:

Playlists

  • Offer the opportunity to create a structured narrative that incorporates music / comedy and commentary in a controlled sequence

  • Best suited for Programs that follow a defined conversational arc

Mixtapes

  • Deliver commentary that is free-floating or track-specific

  • Best suited for Programs with more disparate commentary

GUEST HOSTING

Keep in mind that you can always invite guests to provide commentary on your Programs in addition to the commentary you provide yourself. This is a fun way to mix up the voice of your Programs and give your fans fresh perspective.


STEP 3: DEVELOPING YOUR PROGRAMS

TECHNICAL

AUDIO GUIDELINES

  • We recommend keeping your Voice Tracks to a length of 60-90 seconds when doing track-by-track commentary (although they can be up to 30 minutes long)

  • RMS level of around -17 is ideal

  • Audio should be “ready for air” and blend well into the volume and quality of songs on Pandora

  • All content must be clear and understandable to the listener

    • No choppy audio edits or glitch noises

    • No distracting background noise

    • Any silences should be removed

    • Stylized sound effects are acceptable

DESIGN SPECS

  • Your curator profile photo must be 500x500px, .JPG or .PNG file format

  • Please note that your profile photo will sometimes appear cropped to a circle. The crop overlay provides you with a guide to ensure your circle-cropped photo is optimally aligned.

  • Your curator profile photo must not:

    • Include any text other than the curator’s name

    • Promote hate or violence

    • Depict pornographic images

    • Include blatant product placement or outside branding

    • Depict content not owned by the curator

  • Voice track commentary tiles must also be 500x500px, .JPG or .PNG file format

CREATIVE

As you begin creating your Programs, start by identifying the theme of the content and commentary you will provide. Consider the audience that you will inherently appeal to and any additional audiences you may want to pull in. Bear this information in mind as you make track selections and record Voice Tracks.

CONSIDER THE GOAL OF YOUR PROGRAM TO HELP YOU GET STARTED. YOU CAN USE PROGRAMS TO:

  • Engage in Cultural Moments or Chronicle the Music of a Movement

  • Share your Expertise

  • Provide Commentary on Music or Comedy

  • Explore Regional Music

  • Study a Genre

  • Participate in Trendsetting

IF YOU ARE AN ARTIST, OR WORK CLOSELY WITH ARTISTS, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR POSITION TO LEVERAGE YOUR OWN AUDIENCE ON PANDORA:

Are you a label?

  • Dive into the musical history of your label with commentary from executives and artists

  • Create a yearly or monthly round up of releases with commentary from artists, songwriters, and producers

Are you a manager?

  • Create a Mixtape / Playlist featuring music from your entire roster with artist stories

  • Provide the musical history of a legacy artist with commentary from key figures close to them

Are you an artist?

  • Take listeners through a retrospective of your career, highlight songs with unique backstories

  • Provide commentary about your latest album release

  • Develop a Program featuring all collaborations with commentary from featured artists

Are you a publisher?

  • Give a retrospective of a songwriter or producer’s collective works with commentary from songwriter/producer and key collaborators

  • Highlight the musical history of songwriters from a certain geographic area or era


STEP 4: BUILDING YOUR AUDIENCE

Once you’ve created your Programs, fans will begin organically discovering them on Pandora, but there is a lot you can do to expand listenership.

Share your Programs on Social

  • Each Program you create has a unique URL which you can share outside of Pandora

    • Mixtapes are immediately available to all listeners

    • Playlists are immediately available to Pandora Premium subscribers and available to all listeners via engagement with a short video ad

Use Artist Audio Messaging to Drive On-Platform Traffic*

  • Utilize your connection to artists to have them record Artist Audio Messages via the self-serve AMP tool to drive their fans on Pandora into your Program

  • Include the URL of your Program as the call-to-action of the AAM

Optimize Organic Discovery

  • Use Browse Tags to categorize the mood and theme of your Program for placement in Pandora’s Browse modules

    • In the “Select Browse Tags” section, select appropriate tags matching the genre, mood, and theme of your Program from the drop-down list

    • These tags will influence how and when your Program surfaces in the Browse section of Pandora for relevant listeners

  • Use Search Strings to ensure fans can easily find your Program when manually searching through Pandora

    • In the “Enter Search Strings” section, type any words or logical phrases that listeners may use to search for your Program on Pandora.

      • Note that your curator name and Program name will automatically become search terms

      • Be sure to include common misspellings or abbreviations

    • Optimize combinations of your keywords

      • For example, if Billboard published a playlist of the Top 100 Dance Tracks, we would suggest using the following search strings: “Billboard” “Top 100 Dance Tracks” “Billboard Dance Tracks” “Billboard Top 100 Dance Tracks” “Top 100” “Dance” “Pandora Stories”

Pro Tip: While it’s best to not include more than five browse tags, feel free to use as many relevant search strings as necessary to ensure that listeners are able to easily find your Program. Do not include search strings that are unrelated to your Program; this will deter listeners and create a negative listening experience.

*Artist Audio Messaging is only available to artists and their teams via the self-serve artist marketing tools in AMP.


QUESTIONS? Visit our Support page.