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Pandora Stories lets artists add commentary to their own playlists

Pandora launched Stories today, a tool that lets artists and creators add voice commentary to their own playlists. The Stories feature merges podcasts with music playlists, and is meant for artists to add context to an album, or for podcasters to experiment with new storytelling formats. The feature is part of Pandora AMP, the streaming service’s free Artist Marketing Platform that helps creators promote their work.

To kick off the launch, Pandora’s prepared some Stories by artists like John Legend and Daddy Yankee, who tell listeners their personal stories interspersed between their own songs. There’s also a Stories playlist called Love Songs That Aren’t Really Love Songs, which includes commentary on individual songs like a podcast would, but with access to Pandora’s catalog of fully licensed music. Pandora hopes that the feature will be used by creators beyond music artists, and embraced by “actors, filmmakers, athletes, celebs, authors, and beyond.” Creators interested in making Stories can sign up and apply on Pandora AMP.

Pandora Stories is the latest effort from a streaming service to bring more podcast offerings to its user base. As Spotify doubles down on podcasts with its recent acquisitions of Gimlet and Anchor, Pandora is experimenting with a new format that gives artists control over how their music can be understood.

Pandora Premium subscribers can listen to the Stories playlists starting today ad-free, while ad-supported and Plus listeners can listen via Premium Access after watching a 30-second ad.