I love the internet radio application Pandora Radio. I got rid of my satellite radio because the program is so incredibly awesome. It operates on my iPhone which I plug into my car stereo, instant music. It also operates on my computer.  When it comes to music Pandora knows exactly what I like, once I plug in a few of my favorite bands or artists. The program pulls lots of varieties, genres and styles of music for my listening enjoyment – and stuff I had no idea I would like. It seems Pandora knows me better than my wife when it comes to my musical likes and dislikes.

Here’s why I love Pandora.

Pandora has no concept of genre, user connections or ratings. It doesn’t care what other people who like Lady GaGa also like. When you create a radio station on Pandora, it uses a pretty radical approach to delivering your personalized selections: Having analyzed the musical structures present in the songs you like, it plays other songs that possess similar musical traits. It measures, beat, calculates rhythm, and dissects harmony, vocal counterpoint, and repetitive melodic phrasing. In other words it calculates the most minute data available about songs, artists and bands and builds a play list around my tastes. Seriously this is exactly what we as marketers should be striving to learn about our customers.

According to Julia Layton Pandora relies on a music DNA that consists of 400 musical attributes. It’s a project that began in January 2000 and took 30 experts in music theory five years to complete. The Genome is based on an intricate analysis by actual humans (about 20 to 30 minutes per four-minute song) of the music of 10,000 artists from the past 100 years. The analysis of new music continues every day since Pandora’s online launch in August 2005. As of May 2006, the Genome’s music library contains 400,000 analyzed songs from 20,000 contemporary artists.

Here’s why a marketer should love this company:

  • They collected data, way more than they needed no doubt.
  • They spent the time to break it down properly – 5 years. Seriously who knew you could break music down to 400 musical attributes?
  • They just don’t feed me what I think I want, they use their new knowledge to introduce me to new music (read product), which I usually love.
  • Finally they take my new musical tastes and provide opportunities for me to purchase products a variety of ways, iTunes and Amazon. I love it when a company has figured out a way to easily take my money when I am ready to spend.

Now that’s how you take data and put it to use.