April 13, 2010

Pandora Radio - The Internet Radio Success Story


Pandora Radio surpassed the 50 million registered users mark on April 1st. The mere thought of this for the founder is very much surreal.
The company has release mobile versions of its music services, and even an iPad application is slated to make its debut in a matter of days.
For the longest time Pandora seemed to play way too many obscure songs even though it advertised itself as radio "you controlled." Well their programming over the last year has improved to the point that this website has had to jump aboard the bandwagon with our own station. A mix of R&B and Soul music that you should check out.

Overall listeners are finding that Pandora programming satisfies their own need to hear only music they like. Pandora's custom built stations seem to rival what users hear on most commercial terrestrial and satellite stations.
Pandora however was on the brink of bankruptcy only a few years ago until they developed an app for the iPhone. 35,000 users signed up in one day and they haven't looked back since. The one thing that threaten Pandora was Internet performance royalty fees. Unlike regular radio, Internet radio pays a royalty based on each time a user plays a song. (50 million users times each listener tuning in for about 12 hours a month times $0.0012 a song really adds up.) Therefore the more successful they are, the more their overhead goes up. For your local radio station, their overhead stays basically stays the same day in and day out.

The New York Times Technology page takes a look at the success of Pandora and founder Tim Westergren. This is a truly amazing story...


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