Spotify Grows, Pandora Slows

spotify vs pandora

Do you have a Spotify or Pandora account to listen to music? As a college student, I can safely say that almost every single one of my friends on campus and at home also has a Spotify or Pandora account. In my case, I have both. I stumbled upon Pandora around my junior year of High School when I saw it allowed me to make stations and base my music off of those genres. However, I couldn’t truly listen to the music I wanted to because Pandora didn’t allow me to pick and choose my songs freely. I was introduced to Spotify during my freshman semester at college when my roommate told me it allows you to pick and choose the songs you want and put them into a playlist. At last, a truly free music site that allowed me to pick my own music! While I do not have the paid version, Spotify still allows me to pick the songs and put them in a playlist, so no matter what song comes on it is a song that I chose myself. In reading some articles, it has come to my attention that Pandora has started to slow down, while Spotify seems to be hitting its stride. Let’s take a look at some numbers and see how each of these companies has been doing in the digital age.

Driven by mobile usage, the number of paid Spotify subscribers has grown to over 10 million globally. According to sources, Spotify has grown to more than 3 million paid subscribers in less than three years since the launch in the U.S. in July 2011. Spotify also currently has 40 million monthly active users (which includes the 10 million paid subscribers). This data shows that Spotify is currently the biggest and most likely the fastest growing of similar music services like Rhapsody and Beats Music. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said, “We’ve really become a mobile first company.” Ek’s comment shows true due to the fact that 80% of all subscribers sign up through mobile phones. On top of this data, U.S. paid subscription revenues rose 57% to $628 million last year. While Spotify has a relative new growth, it seems to be fairing much better than Pandora.

In its latest earnings report, Pandora media’s growth slowed to 5.2% in the third quarter. One problem may be due to their lack of focus on the user. It is apparent in a statement made by CFO Mike Herring. He said, “We needed to get monetization in place before looking to grow listeners. We’re relatively new to this marketing, customer-acquisition world, and we do have ambitions to grow user significantly in the U.S.” While they want to grow users, they cannot focus on them until they have monetization down, which it is apparent that they currently do not. On top of this, Pandora shares are down 13% during 2014. While Pandora is still doing well in terms of profit and listeners, it is apparent that something must change before it is too late and they become “out of style.”

There is no doubt that Spotify and Pandora are currently two of the most widely used mobile music platforms on the market today. Spotify offers users the ability to select their own songs and listen to the music they want to. While Spotify has a monthly fee of $10 compared to Pandora’s $4.99, it is clear that people are willing to pay a little extra for ad free listening that also allows them to pick and choose the exact songs they want to listen to, when they want to listen to them. From personal experience, I can honestly say that I use Spotify on a much more regular basis than Pandora. So what site do you find more appealing and why?



Video marketing: 5 technology brands who do it right!

video marketing

Have you ever wondered which technology companies are embracing video marketing and doing it well? Video marketing is becoming an ever increasing phenomenon as the web continues to grow and flourish. A third of all internet traffic is now coming from video, requiring technology brands to be competitive and do all they can to be creative and get consumers and businesses talking about their promotional videos. Video marketing in today’s age must connect and engage the user, making them feel like the product or service can actually benefit them in the long run. Let’s take a look at the 5 brands who have done an exceptional job through video marketing to connect to consumers.


Everyone knows Google as the giant search engine that a person can find virtually anything and everything on. However, Google has recently introduced the Chromebook, a laptop very similar in looks to the high end MacBook Pro. Google has utilized a video campaign based on the idea of a laptop for ‘everyone.’ In one of its videos Google appeals to virtually every person: small and big, young and old, for kids, for parents, etc. The video makes it clear that the Chromebook is a user friendly device for experienced users or perhaps someone who has never used a laptop before. To add to this appeal, the use of bright colored font makes the on screen text jump off the screen and seem more attractive. On top of this, Google uses a montage approach by condensing numerous videos and giving them a humorous tone. The campaign that Google has used is the perfect example of a company utilizing video marketing in a fun and efficient way to reach customers.

Intel and Toshiba

Toshiba utilized a far different approach than Google’s campaign based on the idea for everyone. In their video campaign, Toshiba used film stars Harvey Keitel and Craig Roberts to act out an end of the world scenario with aliens involved in the action. The ad promoted itself as the first ever ‘social film’ by allowing viewers to decide the outcome of the storyline and possibly even getting to audition to make an appearance as an evil Ulrick or guardian of the human race. This video campaign was based on the idea to inspire the user and unlock their creativity by allowing them to decide how the video would end. This campaign is quite genius and truly shows that there are numerous options a company can choose to best reach their target audience.


A technological powerhouse, Apple has been reinventing the way people use technology for over twenty years when they first introduced the Macintosh computer in 1984. Apple has not looked back since, however, they did not solely rely on the sheer effectiveness of their products: they built an effective video campaign that informed the user and made them aware of all the technology available to them. Apple’s newest campaign for the iPhone 6 relies on a more subtle approach by giving various specs of the phone along with numerous 360 degree views of the phone. Apple wants the user to focus on just how beautifully engineered this new device is and that no other phone on the market gives you beauty and functionality like the high end iPhone 6 does. This campaign shows that a company does not always have to be flashy or over the top, they need to be real with the customer and give them facts pertinent to the product.


Perhaps the most worthy competitor to Apple, Samsung has utilized a similar, yet somewhat different approach to the one Apple used. In their campaign, Samsung shows off the Galaxy Note 4, a large phone with a beautiful display and a plethora of widgets and applications. The video runs through various features and specifications, which appeals to technology enthusiasts. Samsung’s video is good for enthusiasts who want to compare the iPhone 6 to the Galaxy Note. Samsung also utilized various 360 degree angles and shows varying colors and options the user can choose from when purchasing the phone. In both videos, Apple and Samsung show practical, real world applications of their phones by showing various scenarios or instances in which a particular gadget may come in handy. While it is similar to the campaign utilized by Apple, Samsung does a great job of showing all of the features available to the user.


Zysntra is a Hybrid IT server appliance solution which is essentially a cloud computing client. Zysntra utilizes a campaign similar to a television commercial, but the content is more about persuasion and logic rather than appealing to the emotions of the audience. With many animated images and graphics, the video shows the user what Zynstra does in a practical and easy to understand manner. The video is very relevant to the company but also somewhat appealing because it uses bright colors and moving images to convey the message to the consumer.

All of these examples show just how different a video campaign can be and that the effectiveness of the campaign depends on what segment your company is in. Whether a company chooses to use a funny, serious, informational or specification oriented video depends on which one will communicate best with the target audience. In today’s increasingly technological world, it is clear that companies must be able to create effective video campaigns in order to be competitive.



Creating a social business

social business

Have you ever wondered how to create a social business in an increasingly technological world? A social business can have a dramatic influence on the overall productivity of a company and its employees. A recent survey by LinkedIn and Altimeter has found that socially engaged employees are 27% more likely to feel optimistic about their company’s future and 20% more likely to stay at their current company. So… how it is possible to make an entire workforce become an enterprise of social leaders?

Make social media policies that encourage engagement. The first step is to pick a group of experts who will develop social media policies which serve as guardrails for their co-workers. This helps the employees know how to use social media, know what to talk about, and identify content to share. This group then helps select internal and external social media platforms that fit the company’s vision and engagement rules.

Make training for all levels of social. In this stage, you want to develop a program and invite employees to participate. Your company needs to make a pilot group, which will inform your training strategy as employees learn the company’s social media policies. You need to provide practical, hands on content so that employees can learn the ins and outs of the technology available to them.

Equip employees as advocates.  In this stage, you need to focus on making a steady flow of content and allow your employees to share over FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. This is the stage where you must see what works and what doesn’t work.  Employees will now be able to target groups they think will benefit your company the most.

If employees are engaged in social media they will know what is going on inside the company and then be able to share that pertinent information to the world. Some of the biggest brands have already utilized this process and have done so very successfully. Social media opens the door to numerous opportunities and new markets that could not be reached otherwise. If employees are properly taught how to utilize social media, the benefits to a company will be well worth the training!