The Power of Audio: SXSW 2018

It’s hard to believe that in just a couple days we’ll be packing our bags and heading back to Austin for one of our favorite events of the year, SXSW. I’m still buzzing from Ms Lauryn Hill’s amazing performance at CES and seeing those washing machines that babysit your children while mining for bitcoins (Did I imagine that)?

When I think about SXSW this year a couple things come to mind. One, A lot of what we were talking about last year has come true, And two, a lot of what the advertising community was concerned about last year, is still a concern this year. Let’s open a Shiner Bock and break down what’s happening.

At Pandora we’ve been talking about voice and the Power of Audio for years and we’re thrilled to see how engaged brands and advertisers have become in the dialogue. It’s not a surprise that Amazon and Google are yelling from the roofs about it but just this week I received an invitation to Vayner’s ‘Voicecon’ and an email from Adobe’s design team titled “Design is Power: Why Voice is the Future.” If you don’t receive emails from the Adobe design team you might not realize how strange it is to get an email from the folks who are typically talking vectors and typefaces to now be telling designers that they need to be thinking about, “What the future sounds like”. The point is that the voice conversation has become pervasive and heading into Austin we’re going to be talking a lot about it, and about audio, and about the intersection of technology and creativity.

We’re also going to be talking a lot about brand safety and quality, the second thing that’s been on my mind. As a publisher we sit in a unique position, one that comes with a lot of responsibility, particularly when you think about our listeners, the youngest of whom are 13 years old. It is paramount to us that we provide a safe environment free of malicious content and fraud. It’s a nice thing to provide that for our advertising partners but it’s built into our core values to provide that to our listeners. We have a saying here that “What’s good for the listener is good for the advertiser” and it’s a line that rings around in our heads as we think about the industry and our position within it.

And who would I be if I wasn’t thinking about MUSIC and how excited I am to be headed into the mecca of live music for a week of pure listening bliss. Can anyone say perks of the job!

See you at the Gatsby!

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