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Why Pandora Trounces Apple's iTunes Radio



Pursuant to this experience, it's no surprise that since it played Falling Out for me, Pandora has not served me any more Ween. That's because it didn't serve me Ween in the first place because of some seemingly obvious pop culture or music genre association. It served me that one song because, musicologically, it made sense given my listening history.

This screen capture isn't from the Ween song; it's from another, but, it doesn't matter, it's a representative example and nicely illustrates the complexity and nuance of the MGP.

"
 

I have seen the guts of the MGP. When Pandora says there are many more attributes, they mean it. Down to the last bit of musicological minutiae, Pandoras music analysts classify songs. Then the algorithm, with some human oversight and input, takes all of this data and places each song in Pandora's library on a spectrum. Put simply, the distance between songs determines where they end up on yours and Pandora's various stations.

Nobody else in Internet radio even comes close. Not even Apple. In fact, most -- and, though Apple has yet to confirm, I think they are among "most" -- use EchoNest, a relatively generic music recommendation system employed by platforms such as Rdio and Clear Channel's iHeart Radio. That's simply not enough and never will be enough to crush, kill or otherwise meaningfully harm Pandora. 

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is a columnist for TheStreet. Pendola makes frequent appearances on national television networks such as CNN and CNBC as well as TheStreet TV. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.
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