Becoming Pandora

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My apologies for the lack of blog posts over the past couple of years. Both a change at the personal level and at the business level have claimed much of my time. Hopefully, the activity on this blog will increase substantially in the days to come.

The Pandora music service has developed into somewhat of a bugaboo for Radio since its inception. I confess I was an early adopter of Pandora, but I have not logged in to it for over two years. Over time, Pandora lost its appeal, and I’m somewhat puzzled why some Radio execs fret over the service’s inroads on traditional broadcast.

You see, Pandora is not Radio, and it never can be. Not because of what Pandora is — but because of what Pandora is not.

Pandora is not one of your air personalities riding an elephant in the circus parade. Pandora is not your morning news man giving blood at a Red Cross blood drive. Pandora is not your station broadcasting live from a business grand opening. Pandora is not providing updates on local weather conditions. Pandora is not giving the current time and temperature.

These things make Radio what Pandora can never be: live, local, and relevant.

Now, it’s true. Many stations have become little more than a jukebox with commercials. And if your stations fall into that category, Pandora is probably breathing down your neck. Why should someone tune in to your station when they can get what they need via the web? But if your station excels in local involvement, you’ve staked out territory that Pandora can never enter.

Radio’s problem with Pandora has been that for too long and in too many markets Radio has become Pandora. The solution is simple: it’s time to become Radio again.