Pandora, in Greek mythology, is a woman who opened a box that unleashed evil, leaving only hope behind. Online radio service Pandora has been more positive, unleashing consumer choice and a counterpoint to AM/FM radio.
The concept for Pandora is simple. You pick a song or artist and using a special “genome” breakdown of more than 700,000 songs, Pandora creates a station for you. You can rate each song to shape the station to your taste.
Anchored to computers, the free service was a solid at-work utility but unable to build a profitably large audience until it introduced an iPhone application in 2008.
“It took off like a rocket ship,” said founder Tim Westergren in a recent interview. ”Completely viral. We never advertised Pandora.” About 21 million of the estimated 50 million users now use the service on a mobile device, with 30,000 new iPhone users every day. Average listening time per month: 11 hours.
As a result, the private-held company said it made its first