Pandora’s fledgling concert presentation division, called Pandora Presents, has shot into greater public awareness with the announcement that Celine Dion will perform a Pandora-hosted, Pandora-branded album pre-release concert.
The event is scheduled for October 29 in New York. The fact that another Pandora Presents concert is slotted for the 26th (Bridgit Mendler), but the series has not substantially been in the news until now, speaks to the obvious awareness advantage of celebrity.
Getting Pandora in the news is one reason to rope in a big name. (Although P doesn’t exactly starve for attention.) Brand reputation is another motivator, especially for a successful Internet radio service that struggles with controversy around its artist royalty concerns. (See this interview with Pandora’s CFO Mike Herring.) In the wake of scalding criticism from Thom Yorke and others, collaborating with Celine Dion takes angles for the same artist-support cred as Napster sponsoring Limp Bizkit’s summer tour in 2000.
The Pandora Presents concert series also folds into a “360-degree programming” strategy spearheaded by Spotify (Spotify Landmark) and Clear Channel (iHeartRadio Festival and Theaters). There is a service engagement lift as well, in the Celine concert -- one of the criteria for earning a free ticket is creating a Celine Dion station.