As a not-so-aside, this is why it's not cheesy to tear up when you watch the Apple (AAPL - Get Report) holiday commercial. It illustrates the company's pledge to create products that make life better.
Broadly speaking, there might not be a better investment case for Apple and other technology- and data-driven companies such as Pandora than their abilities to improve the ways we live life and relate to one another. That's one reason why I get so passionate when I challenge musicians who squabble over a fraction of a cent vis-a-vis royalties.
They don't seem to recognize that the power of what they do extends beyond a fixed payment per spin or play arrangement. Once musicians embrace what technology, what data can do for them, they're off to the races, free from the sucking action of petty squabbles and their industry's limitations.
Something similar stands for the music listener, who embraces and aims to understand the technological resources at his/her disposal. It began with iTunes and the iPod. And it has exploded exponentially from there.
The Complementary Nature of Internet RadioIf I have hammered home a theme over the last year, it's that there's room for multiple, successful Internet radio platforms and applications. One often makes the next one better. As an example, here's a routine I employed several times over the holiday break. Granted, I'm some flavor of music freak (only getting "worse" by the day), but the details of how I use Internet radio can easily inform your experience. Oddly, the hardcopy edition of a music magazine triggered this particular phase of music listening and discovery. I subscribe to Music Connection. Excellent publication if you want to keep up on bands you follow and learn about quite a few more you most likely never heard of. I tore a couple pages out of Music Connection's year-end edition: 2013's HOT 100 Live Unsigned Artists & Bands and that month's album reviews. What an incredible source of music discovery. If they're not already, Pandora's curation team should be doing this every month. So from the unsigned list, I randomly pull a name, fire up Rdio (a primarily on-demand subscription service) and see if the artist or band is part of the catalog. (If it isn't, I check Spotify, my second in line on-demand platform). If Rdio has the artist, I sample a couple tunes. If I like what I hear, I sample a few more. If I'm still interested I exercise one or more other options:
- Add some of the artist's or band's stuff to my Rdio collection.
- Add some of the artist's or band's stuff to a Rdio playlist.
- Head to Pandora and fire up a station using the artist's or band's name.