Pandora Premium

We go where our friends are.

Spotify pushed the envelope, created the new paradigm, Apple broadcast that streaming music was safe and everybody else…

Can forget about it.

You’d think the press would say no-go. Say something critical about Pandora. But reporters’ powers of analysis are nonexistent, they just repeat the press release. And even the vaunted “New York Times”… Their number one reviewer, Michiko Kakutani (remember her from “Sex And The City”?) just gave a positive review to a book about the return to analog and the paper published a story about writers’ favorite bookstores… Where’s all the testimony about digital readers, those who use Kindles and iPads and even mobile phones to read books? Nonexistent because the industrial media complex is run by old farts inured to the past. They love physical books, they hate the fast-paced digital world where you own but do not rent, they haven’t been on trend in fifteen years. Quick, did you learn about Snapchat in the newspaper? Other than business stories after the fact, after the viral phenomenon took place, crickets.

Utterly frightening.

This is where we are folks. Our government has been hijacked by inexperienced wankers promising solutions as they jet us back to the past and all we’ve got is old school media which missed the election completely trying to keep them honest. It’s a new day, we are the line between them and us, you and me. When someone rants and raves about saving newspapers, know that they’re the same people who are not on Snapchat, the same people who don’t know that we need news, but we just don’t need it from the usual suspects.

So Pandora makes headway with a lame streaming radio service, that operates almost totally in the United States, and the press keeps paying attention to it, even as its stock sinks. Whereas Spotify and even Apple have gone worldwide. The digerati know that we live in a global village, but Americans believe they live in the only country in the world. Pandora is a zit on the ass of streaming music, certainly by a worldwide perspective. But there is story after story after story…

The CD is toast. The file is disappearing. But all we get are stories about the renaissance of vinyl. Do you own a rotary telephone? Do you even have a landline? Then what makes you think a non-portable format has any future, especially one with so many quirks and flaws. As for sound… Call me up when these kids investing in LPs get speakers worth listening to, never mind powerful amplifiers. You start with the end of the chain and work back, your system is only as good as your speakers. Does vinyl sound better than most streams? Sure! Assuming you’ve got the playback system to hear it, and most don’t.

So streaming has won because of utility, it’s easiest.

And it’s made serious inroads because of Spotify’s free tier. Where you try it before you buy it. And then Apple got into the marketplace and people believed streaming music was legitimate. Getting in now is like launching one of those me-too iPods, it’s too late. And don’t talk to me about features, Beta was better than VHS and it lost.

Furthermore, Spotify has gone nuclear on the tech/feature side. It’s got customized playlists and programs to promote records and saying you can do better is like believing that customers will buy your car because it’s got better a/c vents.

It’s over folks.

The real story is Apple is building a base on brand. And that brand is faltering. Cupertino is no longer invincible. But those still afraid of streaming music, they sign up for Apple Music.

But all the young ‘uns…

They’re on Spotify.

Could a competitor win?

Doubtful, but it would first and foremost have to start with a free tier and then find a way to go viral and build up its customer base and no one’s willing to lose that much money on free and buzz is nearly impossible to generate on a me-too product.

At least give Tim Westergren credit, he’s shooting low. Trying for 11 million subscribers by 2020. That’s like asking to be kicked out of the Premier League. That’s like asking to never make the Spotify Top 50! The internet is a winner take all world, and the only way to compete is on price, which is what is happening in cloud storage, where Amazon got the early mover advantage, but it keeps lowering prices, and Amazon started off at a low price to begin with! Because Bezos is smart, you ramp up immediately, you don’t skim only the early adopters. That’s the Rhapsody model. Rhapsody was there first, but it’s been overrun by Spotify and its free tier.

If you’re still using Pandora you’re the most casual music fan of all. And history tells us casual users don’t pay, we want the active ones. The Genome never worked and people listen passively and if you like Pandora I’m not looking to you for music recommendations, you’re CLUELESS!

But will some people sign up for Pandora’s premium service because they already like and use the radio service? Sure, why not, I’ll go for that, but there aren’t many of them. As for new features, give me a break, users thought Rdio was the best and it still failed.

There’s one Amazon. One Google. One Facebook. One Snapchat. One Instagram. And you truly believe there are going to be multiple streaming music services? Then you must work for the media!

History, and it’s no longer brief, tells us one entity ends up with 70% of the market online.

History also tells us that if you’re not innovating, you’re dying. MySpace was replaced by the much more user-friendly Facebook.

But Spotify is innovating.

And we know how to share music on Spotify. Does anybody even know how to share music on Apple?

And because YouTube is the default video service, we point to it for music because everybody can go there, and to Spotify for the same reason.

However, having Pandora and iHeart in the on demand streaming market will increase the overall pool, it will get newbies to dip their toes. But they’re gonna go where everybody else does, Spotify or Apple.

You can’t break the rules of the internet.

And the internet was built on buzz. Sustain it and you win.

As for those bloviating about the bad economics of streaming music… Spotify and Apple would be making money today if they stopped expanding, stopped innovating. Amazon kept investing and losing…and now they own online shopping.

Oh, that’s right, Wal-Mart was supposed to give them a run for their money.

Disruption comes from outside. And innovation is constant. And the customer is king.

You can’t screw ’em and if you get it right they’ll tell everybody.

So, you can ignore Pandora on demand streaming completely. The people who are paying it mind are those who kept saying BlackBerry would survive, because people used it and it had a physical keyboard and it was so safe.


The revolution happened. Streaming music won.

Ignore the musicians complaining.

Ignore the industry and the press trying to drum up competitors.

The next big move is consolidation. Spotify goes public and then…

Who buys it?

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.

One Response to Pandora Premium


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  1. Pingback by – Tech Connecto | 2017/03/14 at 20:16:01

    […] lovely, and it’ll certainly suit some of Pandora’s existing users. But as industry analyst Bob Lefsetz recently pointed out, “having Pandora and iHeart in the on demand streaming market will increase the overall pool, it […]

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  1. Pingback by – Tech Connecto | 2017/03/14 at 20:16:01

    […] lovely, and it’ll certainly suit some of Pandora’s existing users. But as industry analyst Bob Lefsetz recently pointed out, “having Pandora and iHeart in the on demand streaming market will increase the overall pool, it […]

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