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  • October 18, 2019
  • 4 minute read

Love is in the Air
(Along with 200 Other Moods)

Music affects mood. It’s as simple as that. Whether we are hoping for a second wind via the “Pop Party” station, or preparing to relax with “Chill Out” radio, it’s no secret that music reflects the way that we feel.

And here at Pandora, we realized that music doesn’t just affect mood, it predicts it. We can tell a lot about a listener based on the song they choose to play and the moment they choose to play it in. We pick up on those vibes when you’re feeling blue, in love, or on cloud nine.

For an advertiser, this is gold. You have the ability to reach consumers in specific mindsets; ones that best suit your message. Beyond time of day, demo, and geo, this is an additional layer of targeting that will help ensure you reach the right person, at the right time—and now—in the right mood.

Here’s how.

Introducing: Pandora’s Mood Score

You are probably familiar with Pandora’s Music Genome Project: the underlying human-based algorithm that allows Pandora to provide the most personalized music experience out there. To accomplish this, our team of highly talented musicologists continually analyze over 450 music attributes on every song, some of which are mood-based attributes. We’ve extracted this mood-based data to develop the Mood Score.

The Mood Score consists of over 200 mood attributes that are assigned to every track and describe overall emotions expressed in that song. As listeners go throughout their day and experience life’s ups and downs, we can follow their musical journey and help your brand show up during the most relevant mindsets.


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Listening to Country? You’re Probably Happy.

Taking the mood score a step further, Pandora’s listener science team performed an analysis to understand the relationship between overall genre and mood. This was done by averaging the Mood Scores of every song within a specific genre to identify overarching moods.

For example, below are the top genres for happy—meaning that each of these genres have the highest propensity to evoke a happy mood than other genres on our platform.

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Using this information, you can reach listeners who might be feeling a certain mood (in this case, happy) through data-backed genre targeting and station recommendations.

Mood Validation Tests

At Pandora, it’s important to us to have data that backs the data. So we tested the Mood Score. We surveyed active listeners to see what mood they were in while listening to that genre and the Mood Score passed the test.

Taking the Reggae genre for example, our analysis Reggae a high Mood Score for Mellow, and 84% of listeners agreed that they were currently feeling mellow or relaxed while they were listening.

Source: Pandora Internal Surveys, September 2019

How Propel Used the Mood Score to Motivate

Propel came to Pandora with two goals: to generate awareness of a new product, Propel Vitamin Boost, through high-touch audio engagement opportunities, and drive excitement and ticket sales for Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival, a one-of-a-kind fitness festival featuring innovative instructors and studios from around the country, top celebrity trainers, and special musical guests.

Propel and Pandora designed a mindset-driven audio experience designed to bring audiences the motivation, education, and hydration they crave. Together we created Training Boost, a custom destination on Pandora that provides Fitness Enthusiasts with an interactive one-stop shop for all training needs, including on-demand audio-guided and video workouts and the Training Boost playlist, a station expertly curated with music to motivate.


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In designing the Training Boost Playlist, Pandora’s curation team focused on including music designed to inspire motivation, allowing Propel to be a source of motivation for their consumer. Through our mood score analysis, the songs in this playlist evoke confident, energetic, happy, and uplifting moods—just to name a few. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast already or just beginning your health journey, listen to Training Boost on Pandora to boost your mood and your heart rate, wherever you are!

Now What?

Astronaut

That feeling when you realize you’re about to nail your next audio campaign. #mood

Now that there is a whole new world of targeting at your fingertips, here are a few things to consider when developing your strategy:

  • How can you reimagine what contextual relevance means to your brand?
  • Think about your audience and their daily consumer journey—when do you want to intercept?
  • What are the key moods and mindsets that are relevant to your brand?

Want to know more?

We’ve packaged up all of this information in a Music & Mindsets Playbook which features a variety of moods, moments, and activities and how to tap into these mindsets using music-based solutions on Pandora. Reach out to your sales representative today or contact us here for more information.

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