In Greek mythology, the first female — Pandora — was given a box (actually a jar) she was told not to open. Of course, she failed to heed the warning and opened the box…allowing all the evils inside to escape and plague the inhabitants of the earth.
As of late, the internet web site Pandora is being touted as Radio’s evil — the threat being that the streaming music service provided by Pandora will result in the demise of traditional Radio.
It could happen, if Pandora could somehow manage to
- Provide local news content
- Update listeners on local weather
- Furnish local emergency information during floods, tornadoes, blizzards, earthquakes, and other natural disasters
- Participate in local events such as fund drives and other public service events
- Have local personalities appear at community events to interact with listeners
- Have local personalities, period
The key word in each of the above: local.
I first found Pandora a couple of years ago, apparently shortly after the service was inaugurated. While I enjoyed the uninterrupted music, the lack of personality — of fun — made the service little more than a jukebox. After a few months, I stopped listening, choosing instead to avail myself of my own extensive music library on my computer’s hard drive. My custom-programmed jukebox was a better choice for me than Pandora’s semi-custom jukebox.
Is there a place for Pandora? Certainly. With the projected increase in in-car audio streaming, Pandora will certainly be a major competitor for Radio.
But will Pandora cause Radio’s demise? No. Hopefully, it will cause Radio to start doing a better job in the areas I outlined above.
When it comes to local content, Radio is king. Pandora will find a long, difficult road ahead in trying to approach the throne.