Recap: 2018 Pandora Challenges

Pandora Partners with Real Industry for University Challenges across the U.S. to Launch Social Impact Campaigns

The fall of 2018 saw the second annual Pandora Challenge: Music and Social Impact program at five universities across the United States. Participating students used Pandora’s Artist Marketing Platform (AMP) and data from Next Big Sound to harness the power of music, engage fans, support musicians, and launch Pandora Stories. At each university, a musical artist joined Real Industry and Pandora to bring awareness to a charitable organization of their choice through this challenge. We were honored to collaborate with Phora at the University of Miami, Jon Batiste at Carnegie Mellon University, Andrew McMahon at the University of Hartford, Bryce Vine at the University of Michigan, and the War On Drugs at New York University.

The program educates, empowers, inspires thousands of students for careers in music, media, marketing, and business. Students make a dent in the universe, while gaining the real-world experience and professional networks they need to secure future employment.
— Jay LeBoeuf, founder and executive director at Real Industry
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University of Miami

September 13th, 2018

Carnegie Mellon University

September 17th, 2018

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University of Hartford

September 20th, 2018

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University of Michigan

September 25th, 2018

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New York University

September 26th, 2018

On September 13, the program kicked off at University of Miami in partnership with chart-topping recording artist Phora. Participating students created a national music marketing and playlist campaign to support his social impact cause.

“We are very excited to participate in the Pandora Challenge: Music and Social Impact at the University of Miami Frost School of Music,” said Serona Elton, Director of the Music Business and Entertainment Industries Program at the University of Miami.  “It is very important that, as future leaders of the music business, our students understand not only how music can drive commerce, but also how music can drive social change.”

The University of Miami Pandora Challenge wrapped up on October 9th! Congratulations to the winning team!

Michelle Boursiquot - Music Business and Entertainment Industries - Class of 2019

Justin Pack - Motion Pictures - Class of 2019

Avery McGee - Music Business and Entertainment Industries - Class of 2019

Miles Cowans - Masters of Music Business and Entertainment Industries - Class of 2019

Isabella Leroy - Motion Pictures: Screenwriting Track - Class of 2020

Jordan Craft - Management and Marketing - Class of 2020

Courtney Hamilton - Business Marketing - Class of 2020

Timothy Thomas

In partnership with The Late Show with Stephen Colbert bandleader Jon Batiste, the next challenge was held at Carnegie Mellon University on September 17 in support of Sing For Hope and their mission to transform individuals and communities by leveraging the power of the arts to create a better world.

“Powering transformation through the arts is at the core of Sing for Hope's mission,” said Monica Yunus and Camille Zamora, Executive Directors and Founders of Sing for Hope. “That’s why we are proud to join our dear friend and Sing for Hope board member Jon Batiste to partner with Real Industry and Pandora, tapping the great minds at Carnegie Mellon University to amplify our message for a broad audience.”

“We're very excited to host the Pandora Challenge this year at Carnegie Mellon University,” said Lance LaDuke, Assistant Teaching Professor of Euphonium and Director of the Modern Musicking Lab at Carnegie Mellon University. “At CMU, we continually look for ways to bring together the best minds from across campus and expose them to real-world challenges and opportunities. The Pandora Challenge is a perfect fit. Our students will have a great chance to collaborate, innovate and launch a new initiative out into the world.”

Shane Killen - Vocal Performance - Class of 2022

Kyle Collins - Vocal Performance - Class of 2022

Lucy Altus - Vocal Performance - Class of 2022

Julia Timmons - Vocal Performance - Class of 2022

Olivia Gesualdi - Vocal Performance - Class of 2022

The University of Hartford challenge was held on September 20 with singer-songwriter Andrew McMahon in support of the Dear Jack Foundation. This non-profit serves to fight against adolescent and young adult cancer.

“The University of Hartford is thrilled to participate in the 2018 Real Industry Pandora Challenge. This event presents the real-world intersection of music, marketing and social advocacy to our students as an exercise that will better prepare them to enter the workforce career ready,” said Gabe Herman, Assistant Professor of Music Industry, University of Hartford. This is truly an educational experience that cannot be had any other way. Whatever their major, this challenge will provide our students a unique space to explore a whole new outlet for their skills, talents and abilities. The opportunities for innovative teaching and critical thinking are truly endless and we can’t wait to see our students grow from this collaboration.”

Sarah Watts - Music Management - Class of 2019

Gianna Bielenda - Music Management - Class of 2019

The University of Michigan Pandora Challenge took place on September 25 with breakout artist Bryce Vine and Barn Sanctuary in support of their mission to rescue, rehabilitate and care for farm animal refugees.

"We are so excited to host the Pandora Challenge at the University of Michigan. This challenge is an unprecedented opportunity to put our students inside a case study that showcases how high profile artists can actually cultivate social impact through their music,” said Jonathan Kuuskoski, Chair-- Department of Entrepreneurship and Leadership, Director-- EXCEL Lab, School of Theater, Music, and Dance, University of Michigan. “And the chance to work with rising star Bryce Vine to support a local organization like Barn Sanctuary is exactly the kind of experiential learning platform our students need as they develop their professional voices."

Andrew Reed - UX Design and Business - Class of 2020

Naman Gupta - Business Administration - Class of 2021

Tiana Colovos - Economics - Class of 2020

Sanjit Johri - Business - Class of 2022

Muskaan Bajoria - LSA Undecided - Class of 2021

At New York University on September 26, students in NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions curated playlists, analyzed analytics, audience and fan engagement data, and worked with top industry mentors in partnership with musical artist The War on Drugs and the GRAMMY Music Education Coalition.

Carmen Lustik - Music Composition for Film and Multimedia - Class of 2021

Elizabeth Croteau - Music Composition for Songwriting and Production - Class of 2021

Akua Amponsah - Journalism Class of 2022

Emily Knesevitch - Music Business - Class of 2019

Aranyaka Verma - Music Business - Class of 2019

Paul Sergent - Music Business - Class of 2019

Stephanie Goldberg - Music Business - Class of 2019

Pandora has invested in helping artists connect with their fans at scale. The company introduced AMP in late 2014 and rolled out a full suite of self-serve marketing tools available to all artists on Pandora in 2016. In 2015, Pandora acquired Next Big Sound to help artists make insight-based decisions by aggregating data from across Pandora, social media, video platforms and other digital sources. To date, more than 15,000 artists are using AMP to make critical career decisions and more than 25,000 Artist Audio Messages have delivered over 1.8 billion impressions.

Real Industry was thrilled to collaborate with Pandora for the second year in a row. For more on the Pandora Challenge, click here: