I’ve been playing around with Pandora for the last week or two. Pandora lets you create multiple Internet radio stations.
You start by entering an artist or song you like. Pandora will play similar artists and learn your tastes as you “Thumbs Up” or “Thumbs Down” songs. You can add more artists to your station to tweak the sound just the way you like. My station uses the following artists to create my stream: Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Mama Cass Elliot, Muddy Waters, Muse, REO Speedwagon, Stevie Wonder and The Beatles.
You can add friends to your Pandora and listen to their custom stations. They don’t play commercials, and if they ever do, I’m guessing they will be minimal.
The iPod is already doing its part to damage traditional radio, but once your car radio has Internet access, services like Pandora will simply annihilate local music radio stations. Why would I listen to a station based on mass-market research when I can create my own custom radio station based on me-market research?
Music radio is screwed. If you’re a fan of local talk radio, this is good news for you. They have to put something on those old FM frequencies.