Project Prostectus

When we began our research process, I was looking for information to learn more about Pandora’s advertising methods and business model. I didn’t think there would be too much to inquire about in the music aspect of Pandora, so I figured I could compare Pandora’s way of doing things with traditional radio stations or maybe other Internet radio networks for my project.

It turns out, this stuff was really boring. Advertising and business is pretty cut and dry, and not really my thing. Out of curiosity, I changed my research towards the music side of Pandora and it got really interesting for me. From the second week of class, Licklider’s “Man-Computer Symbiosis” intrigued me and I wanted to apply this idea to Pandora and its listeners/employees. I finally learned about this symbiosis, or lack thereof, with my new research.

I’ve found a lot of sources explaining how Pandora creates its stations, picks music, and picks advertisements. Most of this is actually not technology! There are real people taking the time to hand-pick and formulate Pandora in its entirety. This is significant because this project started out as a ‘digital phenomenon.’ I came into this project thinking that Pandora is a complex technological gadget, and I wanted to figure out how it was formed or where it might go in the future. But, as I’ve stated in a lot of other blog posts, Pandora simply uses technology. This means that job loss in the future of the music industry is not an issue, or that technology will not take over the much-personal aspect of music. People are still a large aspect of our future even though it seems sometimes that technology is taking over everything.

This was all discovered when I started to look at the music side of Pandora, and that being said I want to continue searching for that. Overall I think my inquiry project is going in the direction of Pandora as a business: what the employees do, how their product reaches an audience, the thought process behind their efforts, and the significance of technology in the matter to relate back to the new media dreamers’ content on technology. I ultimately want to fully interpret everything going on behind the scenes at Pandora, and connect it to other students’ ideas with our shared readings.


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