« Web 2.0 and the Freemium business model | Main | Bridging the gap between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 in the Enterprise »

Pandora's risks and opportunities

After attending lunch 2.0 at Hitachi Data Systems, I decided to try Pandora for myself. It's actually pretty cool. You get to listen to new music that matches your tastes for free. There are convenient links to iTunes and Amazon to purchase the music or album you heard. The only downside to Pandora is the licensing restrictions. You can't play a song on demand or skip more than about 4 songs an hour. You also can't go back and even hear a clip of music you just heard to make sure that was the song you liked. I guess you could go to iTunes or Amazon to hear a clip, which might be part of why they don't allow that, so they can get you one click closer to purchase.

All this got me to thinking about the new subscription based music buffets like Urge or Yahoo Music Unlimited. Apart from music catalogue, how do these services plan to compete with each other. Assuming that the subscription price will bottom out, if it hasn't already, features will play a large role in controlling market share. If you could pair Pandora with a music buffet you would essentially remove the things that suck about Pandora.

What a kick-ass service: find new music and listen to it again and again on demand and when away from your computer with no buyer's remorse. You could even queue up a Pandora-style playlist of songs you haven't heard in advance to listen to offline in your car or at the gym. You could then apply ratings through your player that would then sync up when you were online to further refine your playlist stations.

In this respect, I would think Pandora would hope to be bought out because if Urge or Yahoo built their own music genome (or even iTunes), I would think that investors might be shy about investing in Pandora.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)