Pandora Music

Posted on 05/28/2011


You know, when I write, I like to listen to music, and I have created many stations on Pandora.  Lots of the stations are exact replica of other stations, so I don’t have to waste my skips. If you didn’t know, the free version of Pandora limits the number of times you can “fast forward” or “skip” to the next song playing. It has something to do with the way their licensing works with the music industry.

So to get around this, you have to tell them you hate the song AFTER you have to fight through it and listen to it, or you have to switch stations while that song is on, then go back to it, then tell Pandora you hated it. Of course you can just skip the song, but you’re wasting a skip, so you have to weigh the pain of a shitty song versus the value of a skip.

Why do we have to do that? It’s a ridiculous dance all Pandora listeners have to do. I understand that Pandora has to work with the most backward ass publishing industry on the planet (yeah, I think music publishers are even more effed up than book publishers).

Here’s the deal, the music industry needs to understand what a powerful tool Pandora is for them. It’s orders of magnitude more powerful than “sales”.  For a few reasons.

First, not everyone who likes a song they hear on the radio, goes out and buys that CD or downloads the song online.  So you may get great sales off a certain album, but that number is somewhat nebulous and not granular.

Second, the music industry should allow as many skips as someone wants to make (I say this because you could potentially create 20 stations with the same criteria, and switch instead of skipping, it’s effectively the exact same thing–but doesn’t help as much with the information.)  and require Pandora to record every skip for a song and generate song reports on skips.  Think about the power here!

Let’s say I am Joe Music Producer.  I have a brand new act out there, and I’m not 100% if they’re going to be as well received as I think they should. I pay (YES PAY) Pandora to inject my song into people’s feeds over a few weeks (feeds that already play that type of music, of course) and then get a report on how many people skipped the song.

(BTW, I am currently listening to a song that I wouls change the station on the radio for, but I don’t want to waste a skip, or change the channel at the moment, so I am fighting through it. WASTE!)

Think about how powerful that would be and it would allow listeners to judge how much merit the song has. It would also remove the false skip limits Pandora has and increase the pleasure of it.

Posted in: Music