NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Even if you've never heard of Bridgit Mendler, you need to read this article.Because I'll introduce and reiterate points investors as well as smart generalists (that's a new term I stole from a friend) need to know about Pandora ( P) and Internet radio/the music industry as it relates to the aforementioned's perceived battle with Apple ( AAPL). As for Mendler, she's 20 years old. Sweet. Attractive. The star of Disney's ( DIS) Good Luck Charlie and just a little creeped out that I asked to take a picture with her backstage at a recent "Pandora Presents" concert in Southern California.
Nobody Wins Unless Everybody WinsHere's how, in the shell of a nut, "Pandora Presents" works: Pandora's sales staff works with advertisers. Various Pandora teams work with artists. Advertisers tell Pandora the demographics they hope to engage on the basis of age and location, which link inextricably with music preference. Pandora puts a package together that best suits the advertiser. Customized and targeted in a way terrestrial radio could not possibly match and Apple has no desire, inclination or need to match. Increasingly these deals include a "Pandora Presents" concert event. I've been to two in about two months. One with a local indie band in LA, sponsored by Chevrolet and the above-mentioned one with Mendler (and rapper Jake Miller) backed by General Mills ( GIS).
The performance (was) brought to passionate fans that have added a Celine Dion station on Pandora, are located in the New York Tri-State Area and are age 21 and over. The special event will be free of charge and will take place on October 29 at the Edison Ballroom.
Pandora Head of Music Partnerships, Tommy Page, said, "Connecting artists with their fans is a central part of our mission at Pandora and with more than 70 million people listening to more than a billion hours of music every month, we offer unique capabilities through our immense pool of data and listener insights. We are thrilled to host this special evening with Celine Dion in anticipation of her Loved Me Back To Life album, where we will bring together a group of her biggest fans for an intimate first listen." Excerpt from a Pandora press releaseFans get an exclusive invite and a free show, which often includes free drinks, etc. Advertisers get the exact crowd they want: a captivated and engaged audience, thrilled to have been handpicked by Pandora (and, by extension, the advertisers) to see one of their favorite musicians. That's called goodwill and brand/relationship building. The act wins, no matter how big or small they are. Somebody at Celine Dion's level, a huge artist who could still use a boost ahead of a new record. Relatively small indie acts play shows to their biggest fans in packed venues where they don't have to worry about music industrial complex injustices such as pay-to-play. Thanks to Pandora's sales buy, the musicians probably make as much, if not more money for a "Pandora Presents" show as any other. A performer, such as Mendler, with the power of the Disney platform behind her, comes in at a sort of in-between level. She could slip through the Kids-TV cracks, even with Disney's support, but Pandora helps her avoid this, thanks, in large part to ...