Dear Pandora, A Love Letter

Music is an incredibly social experience. That said, if music is a Ferrari then Pandora is a never ending Autobahn.

The Internet Age has brought so many advancements in business, social norms, communication and more. The music industry is certainly a primary example of incredible twists and turns, highs and lows, innovation and litigation as a result of the Internet. Social Media has been an accelerant, resulting in a virtual 24/7 mixtape.

Enter Pandora. If you’re not familiar with Pandora, it’s a live-streaming service that lets you enter in your favorite artists and/or songs. Based on those artists and/or songs, a virtual radio station is created for you. Pandora then plays music that either is the actual artists themselves or similar artists based on that style. For example, let’s say I enter Weezer, Foo Fighters and Beastie Boys. Pandora creates a “radio station” where the first song might be a Weezer tune or something like Modest Mouse or Linkin Park based on the profile of the music.

Behind the scenes of Pandora is the Music Genome Project. The Music Genome Project analyzes every song in its library for “up to 400 distinct musical characteristics by a trained music analyst”. According to Pandora.com, “these attributes capture not only the musical identity of a song, but also the many significant qualities that are relevant to understanding the musical preferences of listeners”. Cool stuff. It’s where the qualitative styles or artists and their music meet quantitative analysis. Pandora plays the music based on what you’ve entered and you can let Pandora know what works and what doesn’t by giving songs a “thumbs up” if you like or “skip” if it doesn’t work.

What makes Pandora such an immersive experience is the discovery. Every day you can discover new music you may or may not be familiar with. I’ve had my Pandora account for several years now and it continues to show me all kinds of cool stuff.

There’s a premium version of Pandora, called Pandora One which provides more opportunities to skip songs, higher quality and a desktop version of the Pandora App. Nice.

With the Pandora App on my phone, I take Pandora in the car, at the gym, at the office and more.

Is this a total endorsement post for Pandora? Yes, without question. It’s not often where a product or experience is so valuable and social that it’s worth sharing. This is one example. Get it, it’s worth it.

What are some of your favorite bands you’ve discovered on Pandora?

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