Pandora Opens the Box

Off and on I’ve been listening to music at I’ve been knocked out by the selection of tracks and the ability to define my own playlists in a way that includes good surprises.

Tonight, though, an audio commercial (for American Idol) popped up between Baroque tracks by Bach and Handel. Sorry, Pandora. You’re dead to me. I stopped listening to radio years ago because I couldn’t stand the commercials.

I don’t care how much money your CEO wants to spend on his trophy wife. I’m not letting your damn commercials into my brain. I’ve got a perfectly nice CD collection to listen to; I don’t need to be abused this way, and I’m not going to be.

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3 Responses to Pandora Opens the Box

  1. textfilesdotcom says:

    Gooooooooooooood morning, cranky.

    Pandora experimented with audio ads in 2007:

    People responded, were generally negative on it (as you could see) and they went for visual ads built into the interface. Sounds like they experimented again.

    Pandora just laid off 20 employees and is obviously suffering. The CTO also mentions, in the same interview, how they’re dealing with crushing royalty fees:

    How about you do those people a little kindness and not assume the place is making big bucks and is likely in serious danger? Or, maybe, writing them a complaint about this situation, and ccing on this blog, so you can both do something AND be complain-y at the same time?

  2. midiguru says:

    You’re right. I was tired, and I hate radio ads, and … placing an ad for American Idol in the middle of a Baroque music stream??? That’s not gonna grab a lot of viewers, is it?

    Royalty fees are a huge problem, no question about it.

    I did send them an email complaining, yes.

    Twenty employees? Out of how many? I don’t operate a high-traffic website, so I don’t know what’s actually required, but how many people could it take to make sure the servers don’t crash?

    One thing I’ve noticed in the magazine business (which is also suffering) is that the head count has tipped over drastically toward ad sales. Thirty years ago Keyboard had four editors and one and a half ad people. Today, judging by the masthead (I no longer work there) they have three and a half editors and seven ad people.

    Advertising paid my salary, but my observation has been that ads generally degrade the quality of the product. Plus, they’re always more or less insulting on a human level, because they’re designed to influence your judgment. I prefer to use my own judgment, thank you very much, and anyone who is getting paid to influence my judgment is, ipso facto, evil.

  3. textfilesdotcom says:

    I think you and I can both agree that the headcount involves more than “making sure the servers don’t crash”.

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