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How Pandora Avoided the Junkyard, and Found Success - - 0 views

  • Pandora’s 48 million users tune in an average 11.6 hours a month. That could increase as Pandora strikes deals with the makers of cars, televisions and stereos
  • At the end of 2009, Pandora reported its first profitable quarter and $50 million in annual revenue — mostly from ads and the rest from subscriptions and payments from iTunes and when people buy music.
  • Its library now has 700,000 songs, each categorized by an employee based on 400 musical attributes, like whether the voice is breathy, like Charlotte Gainsbourg, or gravelly like Tom Waits.
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  • Some music lovers dislike Pandora’s approach to choosing music based on its characteristics rather than cultural associations.
  • “It’s not just that this has an 80-beat-a-minute guitar riff,” he said. “It’s that this band toured with Eddie Vedder.”
  • For Pandora and its listeners, it was a revelation. Internet radio was not just for the computer. People could listen to their phone on the treadmill or plug it into their car or living room speakers.
  • In January, Pandora announced a deal with Ford to include Pandora in its voice-activated Sync system, so drivers will be able to say, “Launch my Lady Gaga station”

Streaming revenues turn the tide against digital pirates - - 0 views

  • Spotify, the subscription streaming service, has more than 6m subscribers. In video, Netflix, boosted by original productions such as House of Cards , has more than 36m subscribers. Amazon, Google and now Apple, with iTunes Radio, are bringing streaming to a much wider audience
  • This is – at last – translating into meaningful income. The Recording Industry Association of America calculates that revenues from services including Spotify, Pandora and YouTube went from 3 per cent of industry revenues in 2007 to 15 per cent, or more than $1bn, in 2012.
  • Apple’s strategy has pleased some music companies because its streaming service also encourages downloads. But many content owners still believe that streaming cannibalises download and DVD revenues
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  • What is lost from many calculations is the fact that the urge to own may be weaker in the age of streaming, but so is the urge to steal
  • Traffic to peer-to-peer file-sharing and torrent sites is declining where legal alternatives are offered
  • . Netflix’s Ted Sarandos said in May: “When we launch in a territory, the BitTorrent traffic drops as the Netflix traffic grows.”
  • In an analysis of the Dutch market, Will Page, an economist working for Spotify, found that releases by Rihanna and Taylor Swift that were held off Spotify sold just one legal copy for each BitTorrent download, while hits from One Direction and Robbie Williams that were instantly available for streaming sold four copies. “The legitimate market is beginning to outshine the illegitimate market,” says Cary Sherman, the RIAA’s chairman.
  • High rates of piracy for hits such as Game of Thrones in markets such as Australia show that consumers still look to illegal sources if content is not available legally in all parts of the world the minute that US consumers get it.
  • No one is ready to declare victory against the pirates, but the tide is starting to turn against them. The Napster generation is growing up – and behind it is an iTunes, Netflix or Spotify generation that has higher expectations of online content, but is more willing to pay.

Literature Resource Center - Document - 0 views

  • Sam Rosenthal, who's the founder of a label called Project Records
  • iTunes and the other music players have had in the past; buying to own
  • Spotify really is changing here is we're talking about access to music.
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  • if they really like it they will share it and their friends will discover it and they in turn will listen to it
  • Daniel Ek is the founder and CEO of the music streaming service Spotify
  • But again, what I sort of emphasize that we're paying the labels. We don't pay the artists directly.
  • What we're really trying to do here is move people away from piracy into a legal model that contributes revenue back to the music industry.
  • Yeah, I do want to address that because I feel that it's important to mention that it's still early days and Spotify's only two years in using the service, almost three. But in that short period of time now we've become the second largest revenue generator for the labels in Europe and we've paid out more than a 150 million dollars back to the music industry.
  • He recently wrote on his blog that 5,000 plays on Spotify generates a little more than six dollars, and in comparison 5,000 track downloads at iTunes generates for him $3,400. I mean, it's a big gap there.
  • I definitely think that we want to have access and that's the big shift here, but I do think that ownership still plays an important role. You do want to own the things you really care about.
  • At the same time one of the big criticisms that we've heard from artists is that the royalties that they get from Spotify are so low that it might as well be piracy.
  • I think if you keep creating great music people will in fact listen to it and they will in fact buy it if they think it's a great record.

Pandora Pulls Back the Curtain on Its Magic Music Machine | Fast Company | Business + I... - 0 views

  • "It’s true that the algorithms mathematically match songs, but the math, all it’s doing is translating what a human being is actually measuring," says Tim Westergren, who founded Pandora in 2000 and now serves as its Chief Strategy Officer. “You need a human ear to discern.”
  • Pandora’s secret sauce is people. Music lovers.
  • "That is the magic bullet for us," Westergren says of the company’s human element. "I can’t overstate it. It’s been the most important part of Pandora. It defines us in so many ways."
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  • It’s also important, at least in the beginning, for these music analysts to sit, physically, in the same room. That way, they can regularly peel back their headphones and engage with their colleagues about the music they’re categorizing.
  • (Pandora reportedly met with bankers recently about a $100 million offering)
  • "We want Pandora to feel like it’s talking to you," Westergren says. "We also literally talk to people. We have a team of people who are called listener advocates. Their job is just to respond personally to every single email, phone call, or letter we get. The identity of Pandora is forged through those collective interactions."
  • Pandora turned its first profit at the end of that year, earning $50 million in total revenues.
  • Analysts predicted 2010 would end with $100 million in revenues for Pandora--Westergren declined to confirm or deny the number, saying only of revenue, "It’s all going in the right direction."
perezmv - 0 views

  • Pandora (which is also the name of the company) grew out of the Music Genome Project, which company founder Tim Westergren began six years ago.
  • He became fascinated with the way directors described the music they were looking for, which led to his wondering what made people enjoy certain types of music. He asked himself, "If people haven't found any music that they love since college, and artists are struggling to find an audience, is there a role for technology to help bridge the gap?"
  • Westergren started the Genome Project from the idea of creating a platform for connecting people with music that they'll love based on music they already enjoy. The project uses experts called "music analysts" to deconstruct music into its fundamental parts and capture the results into a database. Pandora has 40 professional musicians who come to the office every day and listen to one song at a time, analyzing each in anywhere from 200 to 400 dimensions. (The dimensions are somewhat different for each genre of music.)
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  • Pandora chose the dimensions because they are quantitative. For instance, how breathy are the vocals? Is the music diatonic or chromatic? The music analysts are trained to be able to score songs consistently. In fact, one of the test cases is, "Could a group of 10 musicologists listen to a song and agree on one score for a particular element?"
  • vector space.
  • "What is exciting about the Music Genome Project, with respect to Pandora the radio-listening experience, is that by understanding the music on a song-by-song basis we can put together a playlist that has a much more natural ebb and flow than you might be able to do with collaborative filtering data," Conrad says.
  • "I think curator is the right word," Conrad replied. "Of all the financial models that could be leveraged to make Pandora a successful business, the 'play for pay' model runs completely spiritually opposite to the founding of the company.
  • I asked what Pandora was doing to avoid being influenced by big record labels, which have been widely accused of corrupting traditional radio through payola schemes.
  • "Since we use a human analyst to analyze song by song, we've experimented with using a smaller number of elements," he continued. "We've determined that you can't create interesting playlists with only 20 attributes. But we do keep an eye on machine listening as it might provide a way to augment the manual analysis."
  • I ask myself, "What's this song doing in my Bill Evans station? This song should be in my 'Soft Jazz Guitar' station. Why can't I tell Pandora to place this tune in the appropriate station?"
  • "It's fascinating to me that you raise that particular example," Conrad said. "Because the scenario that you just described is--after we evolved the product over five months and took a lot of low-hanging fruit off the table--probably the number-one listener request.
  • Pandora creates playlists with a "matching engine," written in C and Python, for each listener station. This engine builds the low-level linkage to the "source" music (the music that listeners indicate they like) and the music that actually gets played (a mixture of what the listener explicitly indicated, mixed with music that the Pandora service believes listeners will like). The replication system is Slony.

HowStuffWorks "How Pandora Radio Works" - 0 views

  • Pandora has no concept of genre, user connections or ratings. It doesn't care what other people who like Gomez 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
  • Pandora relies on a Music Genome that consists of 400 musical attributes covering the qualities of melody, harmony, rhythm, form, composition and lyrics. 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. You won't find Latin or classical yet: Pandora is in the process of developing a specialized Latin music Genome and is still deep in thought about how to approach the world of classical composition.

Spotify, YouTube, Streaming Services Are Killing Digital Downloads | - 0 views

  • Now, with a deluge of  music streaming services letting fans listen to songs for free, the digital download may be going the way of the CD and the cassette tape before it.
  • U.S. digital track sales decreased for the first time ever in 2013, dropping from 1.34 billion to 1.26 billion, according to Nielsen SoundScan. CD sales also continued their ongoing decline, dropping 14 percent to 165 million. Digital album sales were stable, staying at 118 million sold last year. Meanwhile the number of songs streamed through services like Spotify, YouTube and Rhapsody increased 32 percent to 118.1 billion.
  • Spotify just arrived on U.S. shores in the summer of 2011, but it has become a lightning rod for controversy thanks to a chorus of artists who decry that paying musicians a fraction of a cent per listen is unfair.
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  • Digital downloads were a logical continuation of the business model that generated fat profits for record labels in the heyday of physical music stores. In some cases, with no manufacturing or distribution costs involved, a hit digital album could actually be more lucrative than a physical CD.
  • However, the music industry’s core problem—that lots of fans just don’t want to pay for music—remains an issue. Most people use the free, ad-supported version of Spotify, and the company recently expanded its free offering to mobile devices. The most popular platform for listening to music among young people is YouTube, which is almost entirely free.
  • U.S. digital track sales decreased for the first time ever in 2013, dropping from 1.34

Study Finds That Streaming And Spyware Are Killing Music Piracy - 0 views

  • That report shows that the number of music files being illegally downloaded was 26% less in 2012 than in 2011. What’s more, 40% of the people surveyed in the study who said that they’d illegally downloaded in 2011 did not do so in 2012.
  • So what’s responsible for this massive reduction in piracy? According to the survey, it’s not stepped-up enforcement – it’s the availability of free music via streaming services like Spotify. Nearly half of the people who had stopped or sharply reduced their music downloading cited those services as the reason for stopping.
  • What’s interesting to me is that streaming isn’t just killing downloads. 44% of the survey respondents indicated that they’d also stopped ripping CDs from friends and family.
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  • n 2012.
  • So what’s responsible for this massive reduction in piracy? According to the survey, it’s not stepped-up enforcement – it’s the availability of free music via streaming services like Spotify. Nearly half of the people who had stopped or sharply reduced their music downloading cited those services as the reason for stopping.
  • So what’s responsible for this massive reduction in piracy? According to the survey, it’s not stepped-up enforcement – it’s the availability of free music via streaming services like Spotify. Nearly half of the people who had stopped or sharply reduced their music downloading cited those services as the reason for stopping.

Music as a Service as an Alternative to Music Piracy? - Springer - 0 views

  • Music pirates show a clearly positive approach to MaaS. The mean of attitude was 3.95 on a five-point scale.
  • While most pirates would use the free version (mean = 3.57), few would pay for MaaS (mean = 1.65).
  • Alternative
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  • We can observe a strong difference between the influence of attitude on intention to use free MaaS and the intention to use paid MaaS: building a strong attitude therefore does not lead directly to high willingness to pay; instead, it is the intention to test free MaaS that is influenced by attitudes.
  • We found that the search for music recommendations and the flat rate preference influence the attitude towards MaaS positively and significantly. The new recommendation functions and the pricing model are therefore functions users rated highly and which can help build a strongly positive attitude towards MaaS.
  • Pirates seem satisfied with the sound quality of tracks provided via illegal networks and seem to feel safe from prosecution.
  • Our study demonstrated the attractiveness of MaaS offers to music pirates. Nevertheless, most music pirates prefer free MaaS.
  • We showed that flat rates are regarded as an attractive pricing model by music pirates and that this constitutes a suitable alternative to pay-per-download, which is often considered too expensive (Al-Rafee and Cronan 2006).
  • Users who do not consider music piracy owing to moral scruples and higher search costs also show a positive attitude towards MaaS.
  • A reason for the increased willingness to pay may also relate to hedonistic social benefits, established by integrating social features into recommendation systems
  • MaaS providers should therefore focus on comprehensive, user-friendly recommendation systems that support social exchanges between MaaS users. Our study results clearly demonstrate that a platform’s features positively influence the attitude towards MaaS. Besides direct recommendations from friends, users can receive recommendations based on tagged music channels or collaborative filtering.
  • The presented study demonstrates that new offers of music consumption can also be an attractive alternative for music pirates. Although there is no indication of the reduction of illegal downloads in general, music pirates consider the free ad-based version of MaaS an alternative. Music pirates who have rejected legal music consumption due to high prices in the past may well switch to legal consumption.
  • Pandora

Listening to Classical Music Ameliorates Unilateral Neglect After Stroke - 0 views

  • Participants generally had the highest scores under the classical music condition and the lowest scores under the silence condition. In addition, most participants rated their arousal as highest after listening to classical music.
    • brookerobinson
      would their own music genre prove better or worse than classical?

This is your brain on music - - 1 views

  • The results: The patients who listened to music had less anxiety and lower cortisol than people who took drugs. Levitin cautioned that this is only one study, and more research needs to be done to confirm the results, but it points toward a powerful medicinal use for music.
  • Among participants, the researchers found synchronization in several key brain areas, and similar brain activity patterns in different people who listen to the same music. This suggests that the participants not only perceive the music the same way, but, despite whatever personal differences they brought to the table, there's a level on which they share a common experience.

The power of music - 1 views

  • Anthony Storr, in his excellent book Music and the Mind, stresses that in all societies, a primary function of music is collective and communal, to bring and bind people together
  • People with Tourette's syndrome—including many I know who are professional musicians—may become composed, tic-free, when they listen to or perform music; but they may also be driven by certain kinds of music into an uncontrollable ticcing that is entrained with the beat
  • There is a wide range of sensitivity to the emotional power of music, ranging from virtual indifference at one extreme (Freud was said to be indifferent to music, and never wrote about it), to a sensitivity that can barely be controlled. Individuals with Williams syndrome, for example, though they have severe visual and cognitive defects, are often musically gifted, and usually extravagantly sensitive to the emotional impact of music. I have seen few sights more extraordinary than a group of 40 young people with Williams syndrome breaking into uncontrollable weeping at tender or sad music, or uncontrollably excited if the music is animated.
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  • speaks of ‘chills’ in this connection, and has shown some of the specific neurobiological basis of these
    • brookerobinson
      religious music "chills" from the holy spirit
  • Perseverative music has much more the character of a cerebral automatism, suggesting cerebral networks, perhaps both cortical and subcortical, caught in a circuit of mutual excitation. I do not think there are comparable phenomena with other types of perception—certainly not with visual experience. For instance, I am a verbal creature myself, and though sentences often permute themselves in my mind and suddenly surface as I am writing, I never have verbal ‘earworms’ comparable with musical ones.

PLOS ONE: Practicing a Musical Instrument in Childhood is Associated with Enhanced Verb... - 0 views

  • Children who received at least three years (M = 4.6 years) of instrumental music training outperformed their control counterparts on two outcomes closely related to music (auditory discrimination abilities and fine motor skills) and on two outcomes distantly related to music (vocabulary and nonverbal reasoning skills). Duration of training also predicted these outcomes. Contrary to previous research, instrumental music training was not associated with heightened spatial skills, phonemic awareness, or mathematical abilities
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