one man's journey into creating gibblybits

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Steal this music pt. 1.5

So let's start stealing back our music by giving power to choice. Pandora.com is just about the most amazing web service I've ever seen. Imagine the choice of Amazon, the depth of ebay, and the added bonus of real humans using their brains to recommend specific music you'd like. And you don't even have to sign in to try it!

Naturally there are plenty of web radios out there. Some even make suggestions of music. Pandora picks music based on a very intricate system, but it all boils down to listening analysis that was performed by actual musical experts-- not on some lame "genre" or bpm algorithm.

Is this stealing? Well, it's stealing power from the marketing departments I guess. I'm not against marketing, I just think that music marketing is kinda in the gutter. The labels should embrace Pandora because this is the absolute most targeted marketing they could ever hope to achieve. Google does great because it uses some of the best MATHEMATICAL ALGORITHMS on the planet.

But nothing, no circuit, no chip, no array, no cluster, holds a candle to the musical expertise of a real, live human. That is to say, there's a soul in Pandora's machine. Labels should work with Pandora to analyze usage patterns (not necessarily users, we can keep this private). They should enable more purchasing power, and frequent listener incentives. Get them hooked on the product, you dolts! Isn't that what marketing is about?

Instead, what I would call "fatcat" marketers appeal to the largest number of people because of course, there's a lot of money to be made in pimping one, hugenormous brand. Like Britney, or Flava, or whatever. NOTE: Flava Flav has real talent.

But for every Flav, there are 3 or 4 or more Britney's. Nothing wrong with bubble gum pop, but the reason growth isn't where you want it? You aren't targeting your customers. Pandora recommends stuff like a friend would, not a computer or a marketer.

Oh, and help "steal the music" by going to Save Our Internet Radio and spread the word. 30% tax on web radio = death of an industry. How is that good for anyone?

1 comment:

Tim said...

This is a wonderfully written piece, victor (not sure if that's your name). We have long tried to figure out how to convey the humanness of this project. While this is certainly a software application, at its heart, it's really people recommending music - and doing it really carefully and individually at that. This line of yours: "But nothing, no circuit, no chip, no array, no cluster, holds a candle to the musical expertise of a real, live human. That is to say, there's a soul in Pandora's machine." just knocked me out!

Thanks again for the creative and linguistic genius - any pills I can take for that?!

If you shoot me an email I'd be happy to send you a token of our appreciation.

Great to have you as a Pandora listener.

Cheers.

Tim (Founder)

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