Pandora’s Box

Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora and the Music Genome Project, visited Berklee to give a clinic on the potential future of music regarding radio, internet radio, and streaming. Pandora is a free Internet radio site, which allows you to create your own stations and easily find new music. The Music Genome Project allows people to gain access to unknown and more obscure bands. The genome employs fifty music analysts to listen to songs all day and analyze them using up to 400 different attributes. It keeps a list of these attributes for each song, and compares the similarities between that song and other songs. The information is then used to find common threads in music to expose people to new bands and artists.
Pandora is looking to expand, and hopes to go mobile through cars and cell phones, allowing listeners to access the service through satellite radio. They have launched products through Sprint to feature their radio services, and they plan to create stereo players for the home, allowing control of playlists with a remote. Through Pandora’s services one can create personal radio stations, a feature that Westergren predicts will eliminate standard broadcast radio in the future. Pandora’s plan is to become a mass targeted recommendation tool for music. As of right now, Pandora is only available in the United States, lacking the statutory licenses that are needed in order to broadcast overseas.
They currently receive revenue through custom designed advertisements for the site that show up every time the radio page is refreshed. They also make a percentage on the music they sell through online outlets such as On the other hand, Pandora’s rate payments to Sound Exchange for songs streamed could be getting larger, and even prohibitive. The copyright royalty board ruled in March that web casters will have to increase rates to labels and artists upwards of 150% over the next f



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