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Pandora starts to sound like a radio station (everywhere but on the radio)

The celebrated Austin City Limits music festival has come and gone, and Pandora streaming radio was there “soaking in the sounds and talking with the artists,” as Pandora blogger Kevin Seal put it.

The online service did a lot of interesting, chatty interviews with various ACL artists. They’re fun conversations, conducted by Pandora staffer Ryan Browne (he of Sonny & the Sunsets).

The problem (at least for me) is that as far I can tell, none of them wound up on Pandora (I searched). Instead, they’re all posted on Youtube.com.

Here they are, listed as follows:

Bear In Heaven

Steven Drozd (of the Flaming Lips )

First Aid Kit

Foals

Girls

GIVERS

JJ Grey & Mofro

Lissie

Matt and Kim

The Morning Benders

Ruby Jane

Switchfoot

These encounters are the kind of thing you’d expect to hear on a college or community or old school free form radio station. I look forward to the day when Pandora is confident enough about its future to be at least partially something like this on itself, rather than on Youtube.

As I’ve said before, Pandora is a great service, but it’s not really “radio” in the 20th-century meaning of the term. It’s not local, and it has even less live voices than a Clear Channel station.

Will Pandora ever become real radio? I’m not sure. A new study by Edison Research suggests that there is relatively little demand for deejays on the service, and, in fact, for many young listeners (Pandora’s main constituency), the fact that Pandora has no deejays is part of its draw.

As for meā€”keep up the great work Ryan. Hope you get on Pandora some day.


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