This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

A Song-by-Song Breakdown of How Pandora Decides Which Song to Play

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Alright, this is, by bounds and leaps (not even leaps and bounds), my favorite portion of the whole behind-the-scenes experiment with Pandora's (P - Get Report) Music Genome Project.

In Part One, we covered what, when you consider the entire series as a whole, amounts to some basics about the MGP, focusing on the ways Pandora personalizes and nurtures music discovery on a track-by-track basis.

In Part Two, we geeked out just a little bit more as VP/Playlists and Chief Scientist Eric Bieschke detailed how Pandora breaks new bands and breaks in music you might not be familiar with (that's discovery). We also covered a bit of Pandora's history, which has a lot to do with startup culture, the attendant struggles, stops and starts and Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) iPhone. It also focused on Bieschke, who started working at Pandora, as the company's second employee before Pandora was even Pandora, at 19 years of age.

Here in Part Three, Bieschke "debugs" my account. The information revealed right alongside the name of the track playing on the desktop version of my Pandora account is so proprietary I'm not even allowed to show it. So, please pardon the fact that you can't see the screen.

But you can hear what we're talking about and it goes as far as anybody has ever gone into uncovering the inner workings of how Pandora does what it does. It's telling. And instructive. Because it debunks the simplistic notion that Pandora is nothing but a jukebox randomly spitting out songs. The level of human consideration and scientific complexity that goes into what the Music Genome Project does is truly staggering. And it rests any doubts about Pandora's veracity and sustainability as a business, one that has fended off all competition, including Apple's iTunes Radio.

Here in the first video segment, Bieschke and I start going through my shuffle. Most of this is self-explanatory. Next to each song title, there are seemingly random letters and numbers that denote statistical markers and the algorithms that make up the MGP. Bieschke tells us what they mean and how they operate independent of and in collaboration with one another.

The second song that comes up piques our interest because it's by an artist we had discussed earlier -- Michael Mazochi. He's a local LA musician I like a lot and whose acoustic/folk work appears frequently on my Pandora shuffle:


In this video, I fire up an artist-specific station -- First Aid Kit Radio -- and Bieschke takes us inside more MGP particulars. What's most interesting to me is the MGP's obvious track-by-track analysis. As Bieschke explains, Pandora was trying to figure out which musicological style I most prefer within this band's catalog. That's fine grain stuff. And it's precisely the sort of thing that sets Pandora apart as an Internet radio platform:

In another article that will follow this one, I include one more segment of song-by-song analysis of my Pandora account. We switch to Taylor Swift Radio and watch something very interesting unfold ...

--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.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $128.54 0.00%
P $15.44 0.00%
FB $80.90 0.00%
GOOG $573.37 0.00%
TSLA $202.44 0.00%

Markets

DOW 18,096.90 -106.47 -0.58%
S&P 500 2,098.53 -9.25 -0.44%
NASDAQ 4,967.1410 -12.76 -0.26%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs