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How Pandora Drove Growth With Innovative Partnerships

Mar 24, 2017

Jane Huxley of Pandora Radio at Innovation Day 2017

Pandora’s Managing Director A/NZ Jane Huxley at Innovation Day 2017

Five years ago, Pandora Radio came to Australia. How did a music streaming service carve—and cement—a space for itself in a market that equated its name with high-end jewellery? By forging innovative partnerships that drove tremendous growth for the brand.

When Pandora Radio entered the Australian market in 2012, it had almost no brand recognition. It did not have an unlimited budget. It did not even have a unique name, with leading retailer Pandora Jewellery already well-established since 1982. 

But what Pandora did have was a unique product and highly engaged audience – users spend approximately 2.5 hours a day listening to the music streaming service. According to Pandora’s Managing Director A/NZ Jane Huxley, these assets were critical in enabling Pandora to forge non-traditional partnerships that helped the brand grow to where it is today.

Pandora’s journey with partnerships was the focus of Jane’s keynote speech at Performance Horizon’s Innovation Day, an annual event and community to discuss new ideas, enable innovative partnerships, and drive growth. For this year’s theme of “Transformational Partnerships,” Jane’s talk was followed by a panel discussion with leaders from Qantas Loyalty, Expedia, and Amazon Web Services. All sessions focused on how companies can go back to the basics and offered practical takeaways on how to effectively build partnerships.

What can you offer partners that no one else can?

According to Jane, Pandora’s product and audience enabled them to bring distinctive value to a wide range of partners. The question then became which companies made sense to partner with. 

Meanwhile, the automotive industry had become increasingly cutthroat. Capabilities like strong safety features were simply no longer innovative and had become basic consumer expectations. Companies like Toyota, Mazda, and BMW were on the lookout for a new competitive edge.

Pandora observed these trends and identified an opportunity that could benefit both parties. “Entertainment within the automotive industry had yet to be disrupted,” said Jane. “Within three years, 60% of all new cars had Pandora built into their dashboards.”

Developing innovative partnerships stretching across industries helped Pandora drive growth across a much broader audience. Next, Pandora looked to expand its reach by partnering with brick and mortar retailers. 

Tying together offline and online experiences

Partnering with BWS (National Liquor Store Chain) and Woolworths enabled Pandora to bring custom music streaming into physical stores, tying together offline and online radio experiences. “We create unique in-store experiences based on relevant data from our listeners – in this case, on the people who buy groceries and the time of day,” said Jane. “Listeners can then download the radio station they hear in-store to continue their experience whenever they’d like.”

Partnerships like these—where both parties work together to navigate risks, improve efforts, and share in profits—enabled Pandora to tap into new audiences and drive growth.

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