As powered by the Music Genome Project, Pandora is a freakishly innovative way to (1) connect listeners to new music and (2) promote popular major-label artists in the very same way as artists recording on GarageBand from home. Tim, a musician himself, has been building the Music Genome Project since 2000. The way it works is this. Each song that comes into the project is treated blindly, meaning that it matters little whether the artist is well known or not or what musical genre label with which they're usually tagged. Fifty or so actual humans -- many of them musicians -- sit down in an office in Oakland and evaluate each song, one by one. What they're listening for is any number of some 400 or so musical "genes." Once a song's genes are mapped, it's entered into the Pandora system.
And the paragraph for the artist:
In the interview, Tim talks about how he's been thrilled so far to pay SoundExchange fair rates for music -- it helps streamline the licensing process for digital broadcasters like Pandora. But the Copyright Royalty Board's recently announced royalty hikes will make it impossible for Pandora to continue operating, which will in turn prevent the public from reaping the benefits of the Music Genome Project. Our copyright regime is intended to encourage innovation. That's not me talking, that's the founding fathers in the United States Constitution: the goal is to "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts."
The article is here.
Added in the evening:
Pretty good discussion going on about this at RMMGA.