The Pandora Pandemic
-- Personalized Internet radio service Pandora surpassed 75 million registered users last year and now has 850,000 songs in its catalog, founder Tim Westergren revealed in a blog post. He also shared some metrics that show engaged users: over 3 billion songs were rated in 2010, and the company receives over 25,000 emails each month.

Back in the summer of 2008, Pandora had 10 million users on the web. After the launch of its iPhone app in July 2008, daily listeners jumped to 40,000 from 20,000. Registered users stood at 20 million in December 2008; but by March 2010, Pandora had over 50 million listeners and mobile accounted for more than 40% of hours steamed. Now it has over 75 million registered users who listen through web browsers, mobile apps, connected TVs and home and car audio systems.

Here are some more numbers to help put Pandora's scale into perspective. Pandora has 7.5 times the number of users Spotify has of both its free and paid versions. Its users rated more songs in 2010 (3 billion) than were purchased at digital download stores in the U.S. in 2010 (2.1 billion). And it has 42% as many U.S. users (75 million) as Facebook (about 180 million - 30% of an estimated 600 million global users).
( Pandora blog)

How Does It Know?

-- More Pandoa: An interview with Nolan Gasser, the musicologist who heads Pandora's Music Genome Project. If you want to know how Pandora catalogs its songs, creates playlists and links related artists, this is a good read.

A sample:
"Because every one of those musical parameters has been analyzed and entered into our database, there's a pattern that emerges when a user gives us feedback. If pieces with a lot of syncopation are given a 'thumbs up' on a particular station, then the Genome 'knows' to start offering more pieces that are syncopated. And suddenly the user is going to discover music that they never heard before that matches their taste. But they don't need to know why or how, because it's all grounded in these detailed acts of analysis."
( Ars Technica)

The Shazam App For Spotify
-- Users of Shazam's premium apps on iPhone, iPod Touch and Android can now press a "Play in Spotify" button to hear a tagged song on Spotify's mobile app. Of course, the Spotify mobile app is available to consumers in only seven countries, including the U.K., Sweden and Spain. Nevertheless, this is a partnership that makes sense because it combines the most popular music identification app with one of the best - if not the best - music apps.

( Spotify blog)