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Pandora Can and Will Profit Beyond Mobile Advertising

Guys like Westergren and the others who populate Pandora management and rank and file do not believe they have even come close to tapping the company's as well as the Music Genome Project's potential.

A couple weeks ago, I promised I would overcome the meme-like objections bears make about Pandora's future viability. And I will.

However, over the weekend, I attended a Social Distortion concert on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Walking along Sunset Boulevard past the legendary clubs and other relatively unknown venues got me thinking about something I have only briefly written about in the past -- Pandora's potential as a local music promoter and ticket seller.

The Music Genome Project, in conjunction with Pandora's massive user base and treasure trove of thumbs up/thumbs down data, allows the company to target listeners on the basis of factors such as age, location and musical taste. It already uses this powerful capability to sell advertising and drive listeners to free shows. Don't expect it to happen overnight, but, at the same time, don't expect the company to stop where it is now.

Do you really think an entrepreneur like Westergren is so freaking passive as to stake the entire business he built from nothing in a San Francisco apartment on a legislative decision a fickle Congress will ultimately shoot up or down? Again, give him and others like him more credit than that. They deserve it.

Pandora can take different routes, but there's no better place to start than Hollywood -- quite possibly in partial-partnership with Live Nation (LYV - Get Report), which owns and/or operates several major venues; in collaboration with others; by itself; or a mix of two or more of the three -- targeting listeners for shows put on by bands they love or recently discovered on Pandora. Just as you can instantly "Promote a Post" or "Send a Gift" now on Facebook, once day I reckon -- and this is all conjecture on my part -- you'll be able to "Buy a Ticket" to a local indie show at one of your city's best venues.
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