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Why Pandora Trounces Apple's iTunes Radio

Stocks in this article: P AAPL

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In recent articles, I have highlighted the Music Genome Project (MGP) as one of Pandora's (P) insurmountable edges over the competition. Even Apple's (AAPL) iTunes Radio.

I get into it a bit in the video that accompanies the article at this link. I get into it a bit more in Crucial Facts You Should Know About Apple Vs. Pandora. And I get into it a whole lot more in Why Pandora Blows Apple's iTunes Radio Away.

Here, I lay it out with the type of on-the-ground examples that happen, to some extent, every time Pandora plays a song for you. At the same time, however, the inner-workings of the MGP run pretty much behind the scenes. That's cool for the user, who, ultimately, wants to kick back, listen to the radio and hear/discover good music.

But, smart generalists and investors must appreciate the power of the MGP if they desire a better understanding of why Pandora will not only survive, but thrive alongside iTunes Radio.

The other day I was driving in my car. Pandora served up a song I know I never heard before from a band I had never heard of.


Turns out Ween has the quite the reputation, particularly in Jersey. The Ween tune Pandora played for me was so in line with my musical tastes I immediately thumbed it up. That night, I looked up Ween on Rdio.

As a not-so-aside, notice the complementary nature of the services. Discovery on Pandora. Give me more, on-demand, via Rdio. If I ended up liking Ween, I would have, at the very least, listened more. For still active bands, I might have bought a ticket to a show or something. Someday the music industrial complex will fully embrace and exploit this trajectory.

Anyhow, upon further inspection, I couldn't find another song from Ween that did anything for me. I sampled as much as I could and, to a tune, they were all, in my humbly subjective opinion, pretty bad. (Though a couple other tracks from the LP "White Pepper" could make the cut. A few have a very Oasis/Beatles sound to them).

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