With all this talk from marketing, tech and data companies about the power of the smartphone, music streaming site Pandora’s managing director, Jane Huxley, has broken ranks to declare that mobile’s time has already come and gone.
“It’s dead,” Huxley bravely told B&T. “I am passionate about technology and where it’s going. I do a lot of reading and talking and thinking around the future, and I’ll put the premise into the market now that mobile is dead.”
“People will be like, ‘Argh! Let me take a breath! Oh my God!’ but if we don’t think that’s true, then we’re not really thinking about where we’re going to be in three to five years’ time.
“We know the cycles are getting shorter. We know about wearables. At some point in time, a car for example, will have a SIM card in it. The car becomes an iPad on wheels. The sense of untethered technology is not dead, but it may not be this thing that I’m holding right now to talk to you.”
Pandora launched in Australia and New Zealand in 2012 and has a very strong user base growth.
In February the internet radio service said it was adding 20,000 to 30,000 new Australian users a week; but Huxley, a former chief executive and publisher at Fairfax Media who’s held senior roles at Microsoft and Vodafone, insists it’s important to not become complacent.
“I’m passionate about the future,” she said. “What happens to media and content when everything is targetable? This blank sheet of paper. To that end, I was a geek at Microsoft in `89, and there is a geek inside of me that I just indulge.”
Huxley argues Pandora’s algorithm is superior to its main rival, Spotify, and insists it’s reaching more and more music fans, stealing market share from traditional music radio.
“I love disruption and of course our role here is to disrupt traditional radio,” she added. “I have no fear of change. No fear of momentum. I’m really passionate about disrupting today.”
Huxley will be one of the chief speakers at Daze of Disruption in Sydney on the 18th and 19th of May.