Pandora is going to be intriguing because in researching its business model, I can discover the extent of man-computer symbiosis going on. One of the first things on Pandora’s advertising site explains that advertisements on Pandora have a screen display along with an independent dialogue, so that no matter how a listener is interacting with Pandora, the ad will reach them. This, I think, is truly effective symbiosis because Pandora has made it possible to connect with the advertisements in various ways. There is another element of man-computer symbiosis, too. Pandora can only be used with a registered account, which asks for age and gender. Along with music preferences, Pandora uses these three things to choose advertisements that will most likely be relatable to the listener. Here, technology and man are working in the most productive way.
Towards the end of the advertising website, however, Pandora refers to their “musicologists” who help the Music Genome Project to “get smarter.” It seems like they don’t differentiate between their human employees and Pandora’s technology. Is there a complete level of man-computer symbiosis, or is the technology actually very minimal? Obviously Pandora has some independence in choosing advertisements as I’m listening to different channels, but perhaps the “musicologists” are the brains behind the whole operation and there is actually quite little man-computer symbiosis going on in the technology. That is not to say, however, that Pandora’s platform isn’t more successful than traditional radio stations just because the technology limited. I’m even hesitant to say that a digital phenomenon doesn’t need advanced technology to be great.