In an email to its users, Next Big Sound announced it will officially shut down on November 1, 2021 and fully transition its Pandora streaming data to the Pandora AMP platform. For 12 years, Next Big Sound has served as a data tool to track streams on the Pandora online radio platform, as well as social metrics from sites like Facebook, Instagram, Wikipedia, and more.
What Is Pandora AMP And How Is It Different From Next Big Sound?
Pandora AMP stands for Artist Marketing Platform. The service is intended to be a place where creators can do things like launch their own playlists as pseudo "radio stations" and create audio messages to engage potential listeners. It is a parallel platform to some of the more well-known artist streaming service backends like Spotify for Artists.
Next Big Sound did not allow creators to individually promote songs, though the interface was much more of a Pandora-centric dashboard for tracking data.
Notably, Next Big Sound has decided to not continue tracking social data for artists when it completes the transition over to the Pandora AMP platform. Pandora purchased the previously independent Next Big Sound in 2015.
"Pandora AMP has been the primary focus of our development and usage for two years already, and we’re really excited about bringing more focus to our AMP tools," the Next Big Sound team says in the email. "This is just the final step of a multi-year transition into the AMP platform, and our team has been hard at work to make sure it is as seamless for your teams as possible."
Some of the data between Pandora AMP and Next Big Sound was already duplicitous, including much of the high level Pandora streaming data. The biggest difference, however, was Next Big Sound's openly searchable database that allowed users to track metrics from other artists as well.
Next Big Sound Axing Social Data
As for their decision to stop tracking social data, Next Big Sound had this to say:
"After a lot of deliberation, we have decided that Next Big Sound social data is not going to be moving over to AMP with us. We’ve decided to focus our team’s efforts on giving artists valuable, actionable insights to help them grow and monetize their fan bases on Pandora. There are already excellent alternatives available for social media tracking that provide more context across more sources than we have been able to sustain."
The removal of social data means the "Pandora Predictions Chart," which used social media data to potentially identify fast-rising artists, is also going by the wayside during the transition.
Perhaps the most intriguing word there is "monetize" — Pandora has historically been a gold mine of U.S. listeners, but has relatively few tools for creators to find and engage with these listeners. Pandora has also traditionally paid a different (lower) rate to artists for playing their music, depending on the type of stream. Many artists may be shocked to know just how many people listen to them on Pandora, though that doesn't necessarily transition into career-changing revenue.
The Next Big Sound team has made themselves available via email to any artists or platform users who have questions about the move.