NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Because of my gig at TheStreet (and my love for music and digital platforms), I subscribe to several streaming and/or on-demand Internet radio services.I pay $36 annually for Pandora ( P), $9.99 a month for Spotify and the same for Rdio. I regularly use iTunes, VEVO, YouTube, iHeart Radio, Last.FM, Slacker, TuneIn Radio and others for free. I eat, sleep and drink radio. Old-school radio, which I grew up on and in, and modern-day radio, redefined, primarily by iTunes first and, in three stages, Pandora. Stage one: when Tim Westergren and his colleagues conceived the Music Genome Project. Stage two: when Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy envisioned the company disrupting radio. Stage three: when Steve Jobs introduced Apple's ( AAPL - Get Report) iPhone, propelling Pandora's now-explosive growth. A radio background, coupled with my hyper-use of Internet radio, helps me comprehend a crucial reality lost on many, particularly the Spotify will crush Pandora crowd: A distinction exists between on-demand services such as Spotify and pure radio player Pandora.
When you know what you want to hear, you hit up an on-demand service. Over the weekend when I was in the mood for Springsteen's Magic album, I fired up Rdio, conducted a search and within seconds was listening track by track. In this case, Rdio "crushed" iTunes and Spotify, not Pandora.