Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Pandora Story

Controversy about the possible shuttering of continues on the Internet. If you read the comments under any of the stories, you'll see a recurring theme -- people discover music through Pandora. Music that they buy.

I have that story, too. And it gives us some numbers to work with.

"The Love Generation" is one of the radio stations I started on Pandora. As the description says,
Sweet vocal harmonies from the Summer of Love. For a brief span of time, groups made groovy music influenced by the sunshine pop sensibilities of Southern California. Mellow songs from a gentler time.
While I started out with artists I already knew, such as the Love Generation, the Fifth Dimension, and Spanky & Our Gang, it wasn't long Pandora began adding songs and artists I'd never heard of before -- but I really liked. And, yes, I followed the links to Amazon and started buying music.

So far, I can attribute the following purchases directly to this one Pandora channel -- one of the six that I have.

Each of these discs cost about $19.00 (most were imports), so listening to Pandora for free caused me to purchase $171.00 of music directly from the labels. So let's say the average listener only buys one CD or download equivalent (although I know plenty of music geeks who've spent even more).

Pandora has approximately 6.5 million subscribers. If each one only spent $15.00 on music they discovered through Pandora, then the site would be responsible for generating $97.5 million in music sales. And a good portion of that, I suspect, went to non-Top 40 artists. After all, I wanted more music by Two of Each and Jackie Trent -- not Beyonce and Avril Lavigne. 

And if the average Pandora listener buys more than one disc? Well, then SoundExchange -- currently collecting 75% of Pandora's revenue -- really is strangling the goose that's laying golden eggs.

 - Ralph

Day 67 of the WJMA Web Watch.


  1. I'll post the Westergren interview on Monday morning. It's worth listening to to hear his optimism.

  2. Cool. Send me the links!