Thursday, October 28, 2010

What Pandora Thinks

I've been listening to Pandora a lot lately. The idea behind Pandora is simple:
1. You enter a song or music artist.
2. Pandora creates a playlist filled with songs that share musical qualities with your original selection (based on the Music Genome Project).

It's amazing how predictable my music tastes are. Usually I can spot the connection between two songs - it's not hard to guess that if I like Led Zeppelin I will also like The Who. But sometimes the box (this is what I call Pandora) will throw a curve ball at me (actually I've never called it "the box" until just now). I won't see the connection, but I'll like the song. For instance:

Station - Beastie Boys
Song played - "Tuesday's Gone" by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Tell me, what about a New York hip hop act overlaps with a Southern fried rock ballad? Was Pandora broken? Joking?

No. Just underrated. The box looked at my selection and thought, "Hm. A Beastie Boys fan. The Beastie Boys' popularity peaked in the early to mid nineties. People care most about popular music when they are about 12-16 years of age. Compiling concert data from 1991-1996, 83% of the Beastie Boys audience was white and 73% was male. So we're probably looking at a white male who was between the ages of 12 and 16 during 1991-1996. Almost the identical profile of Adam Sandler's demographic. So I'll play something from the soundtrack to the 1996 hit Happy Gilmore. White boy'll love it."

Sniff. Why did Chubbs have to die? Why?!!


Craig . Kate . Xavier said...

Xavier has his own "Disney" station on my Pandora. He likes the kid music : Justin Bieber, etc.
Then one day a random Depeche Mode song popped up in there.
Where's that connection?

Steve said...

Justin Bieber loves Depeche Mode. That is all.