I'm sure many of you who use Pandora wonder why it hasn't been sucked up by Microsoft, Google or Apple. For those of you who don't even know what Pandora is, it is a internet radio station that uses algorithms to fit your music tastes. How does it fit your tastes? Well, you either simply like or dislike a song. Everytime you do that, it finds more music that is suitable to your interest. I've known about Pandora for years, but I've been a loyal Zune customer. Zune is the equivalent of iTunes.
Zune offers Smart DJ which is sort of like Pandora, but it doesn't really care if you like the songs it lists or not. It just finds similar artists/styles for you to listen to. In a recent conversation I had with a personal friend of mine, we discussed how it would be advantageous for Microsoft to acquire Pandora. Now I'm taking it a step further and tying it into my notion of Web 3.0. If you've been following my series of articles, I've written about how new web technologies that exist now are propelling us into a transformation of how we interact with the internet. The idea is based on the notion that a web community will be the nucleus of how advertisers and content reach us.
Below are my 5 reasons for why Pandora should be purchased by Microsoft:
1) Smart DJ is terrible and doesn't really care about what I think. As a musician, I understand that music for everyone is an acquired taste. Anyone who says they like all music is lying. A symphony of flatulence will disuade even the most tolerant of avid music listeners. Microsoft needs to improve this technology so that it finds music geared towards the user, not towards what's similar.
2) Microsoft already has a huge library of music that it has rights to. Adding on whatever Pandora has as rights wouldn't be the biggest, expensive deal.
3) This will open new advertising channels for Microsoft as an added revenue stream. Not only will music be relevant, but the ads that they can attach to it will be geared specifically towards the user. Applying the Web 3.0 concept to this, they can draw user data from other Microsoft products such as Internet Explorer and Bing to get the best possible advertisements to the user. This would be an extremely valuable tool for Microsoft to utilize it's products for advertising purposes.
When I'm listening to Pandora, I'm hearing commercials about nuts. Sometimes I really don't care about nuts. Sometimes, I already ate lunch and desire no more food. That was a waste of an ad. However, if the ad algorithm utilized the fact that I was on facebook talking about sneakers, perhaps a Nike advertisement would've been worth my while. I might've been enticed to have purchased a pair of Nike shoes if that happened.
4) Google is going on a rampage as of late with new products. One new product is Google Music (Beta). It's going to allow users to access their personal collection of music practically anywhere. As good as that seems, perhaps Google might step it up a notch and do what Pandora is doing. Maybe instead of your personal collection, maybe they'll just compile what you have in your collection and make recommendations of what you should listen to. Nonetheless, on top of that they'll probably make it accessible for you to buy that song then and there from their services. Google has also been on a purchasing spree over the last few years, so don't be surprised if Pandora is in their crosshairs.
5) Microsoft is losing street credibility fast. I think that the new Internet Explorer browser is awesome, but my friends are telling me that Chrome and Mozilla are better while they never even bothered to download IE9. Something cool and hip like Pandora would definitely make the street credibility of MSFT go up for sure.