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Exclusive: Inside Pandora's Music Genome Project, Part One

I had about two hours of tape with Bieschke to comb through. Not much hits the cutting room floor. Just repetitive bits and pieces and segments I'm pretty confident would have been of little interest to most readers. Otherwise, over the next two weeks, you'll see the whole two hours, cut into multiple subject-specific videos.

In each article, expect YouTube videos like the two below, alongside descriptions of what Eric and I discuss in each. At the top of each article, I include a TheStreet-branded video that summarizes the longer YouTubes included in each article.

While I'm excited about every second that came from my time with Bieschke, I'm most proud of the two videos in this article and another video or two I will include in a forthcoming piece where Bieschke and I listen to a shuffle of my Pandora account with him telling me how and why the MGP decided to play each song. If you love music, radio, data, and/or tech, the entire exercise should fascinate you like it did me.

Follow me here at TheStreet, on Twitter and subscribe to my YouTube channel, so you'll know when the next article/video hits. I expect to publish everything over the course of the next two weeks.

So here we go ...

In this first installment, Bieschke discusses how Pandora personalizes the listening experience for every user. As he explains, the MGP employs a dual-faceted approach using multiple algorithms to determine which song to play next. (In the videos where Bieschke dissects my Pandora account, we dig deeper into how these individual algorithms collaborate).

In this second, longer installment, Bieschke details something I'm not sure investors -- even those who are long Pandora stock -- and general observers completely understand, even after all this time.

Number one -- music analysts analyze the musicological attributes of every song that enters Pandora's catalogue. Number two -- the MGP then determines what to play, when and for whom on the basis of this musicology. So it serves tunes on a track-by-track basis, not artist-by-artist or via some blanket genre-focused approach.

While intensely interesting (IMNSHO), these videos scratch the surface of what Bieschke and I covered. As the series continues this week and next at TheStreet, we delve deeper and deeper into specifics of how the MGP works, using real-time examples.

--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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