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Yesterday we took a look at the new 2011 Ford Edge which has the Ford MyTouch software. Today’s video will show how Ford wants to interact with developers. The program is named Sync Mobile App Connectivity and will allow mobile app developers the ability to interact with the Sync interface inside Ford cars.
In the video below, the Ford rep shows us how the Sync Mobile App Connectivity works with Pandora. Basically you can control the Pandora iPhone app using your voice inside the car. The music is played through the car speakers and when you want to change the station you hit the speak button and say, “play station Justin Bieber”. Pandora has built the Ford Sync SDK into their general application available in the iTunes app store.
We also tried to take a look at a Twitter application built with the Sync SDK but it didn’t load correctly. Had it worked, the app would read the Twitter messages in your stream and/or your replies and direct messages. How exciting would it be to travel to grandma for Thanksgiving and be able to listen to this:
- I just ate a bologna sandwich – Peter R 7240
- I am the mayor of Taco Bell – MaryLou14
- In reply to PinkFluff24 – yes
I wonder if the apps will be able to use the 8″ display on some of the Ford cars for display.
Continue reading “Ford Wants Developers With Their Sync Mobile App Connectivity (video demo)” »
Founded in 2000, privately-held Pandora is revolutionizing the way people discover new music while also listening to their favorite artists and tunes. Pandora’s personalized radio service is powered by the Music Genome Project, the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken. Pandora taps into a massive musical collection to deliver a service available anytime and anywhere – on the computer, in the home, & on mobile devices, like the Apple iPhone. Members of the Pandora community build their own profiles, & connect to others to share their musical experience. With over 16M registered users, we’ve quickly become the largest online radio service in the world. We partner with industry leaders such as Sprint, AT&T, Comcast, HP, Dell & Logitech. We’re well-funded & growing faster than ever!
Director of Business Development
Pandora is seeking a Business Development professional with a balanced blend of strategic and execution skills whose primary responsibility will be to lead and manage Pandora’s business development initiatives in the automotive, gaming and set-top box arenas, as well as others verticals as they develop. Making Pandora broadly available through connected entertainment platforms will enable the company to dramatically increase its share of total radio listening.
This position, reporting to the SVP Business Development, is a key hire for the company. The rock star we have in mind is smart, ambitious, intellectually curious and looking to make their mark!
• Identify, solicit, and close new partnerships that present an opportunity to dramatically increase Pandora’s listenership and audience reach. Manage partnerships all the way through the pipeline – including prospecting, selling, contracting and managing implementations through and after launch.
• Ensure creative and timely execution of stated pipeline goals, achieving/exceeding business plan targets on a regular basis.
• Work closely with Pandora’s product and engineering teams and other customer support personnel in support of your partners’ development and launch efforts.
• Quickly absorb and be able to converse effectively about the technical details of new Pandora device deployments.
• Ensure the successful management of existing partner relationships, regularly review partnership performance metrics, growth strategies, and ancillary opportunities. Building long-term strategic relationships with top tier partners, and give them the highest level of customer service.
• Track metrics and success criteria for all your BD programs and activities.
• Establish business development goals through collaborative meetings with Pandora colleagues.
• Become the in-house expert on the business development verticals under your charge.
• Ensure effective visibility for Pandora in the industries under your charge and ensure that Pandora is “top of mind” with potential business and strategic partners.
• At least seven years experience as a successful business development professional within software, media, technology, and/or Internet spaces. Prior strategic consulting and/ or investment banking experience will be valued.
• Proven ability to learn “on the fly” and adapt to a fast-changing business development landscape while remaining focused on achieving core objectives.
• Business development track record of selling strategic, innovative, high-value solutions, reaching and exceeding targets.
• Must be able to think creatively “on his/her feet” to successfully align and drive partnerships to the desired outcome in a consultative approach.
• Strong strategic planning and analysis skills in business development, sales, marketing, and business (competitive) strategy.
• Effective public speaking skills and senior mgmt-level presentation experience.
• BA/BS from a top-tier school; MBA desirable
Send cover letter and resume to Pandoraemail@example.com. Please reference the Director of Business Development job in our subject line.
Pandora is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Just two weeks after our interview with Pandora founder Tim Westergren, he sat down with the Washington Post today for a very serious discussion about the future of Pandora and of webcasting in general. In our interview, Tim spoke openly about the royalty and licensing issues around music and called the situation, "a real mess".
Peter Whoriskey spoke with Westergren today and if you are into music streaming online, the interview is a must read. Westergren opens with the following, "We’re approaching a pull-the-plug kind of decision". And he closes with, "So if it doesn’t feel like its headed towards a solution, we’re done". The article also notes that Pandora’s royalty fees this year will amount to 70 percent of its projected revenue of $25 million.
Here’s the bottom line around the royalty issue from Whoriskey, "The Copyright Royalty Board last year decided that the fee to play a music recording on Web radio should step up from 8/100 of a cent per song per listener in 2006 to 19/100 of a cent per song per listener in 2010." That’s $17 million for Pandora this year based on usage. Smaller webcasters may already be out of the game due to the increased royalty rates. On the radio stations I listen to on iTunes, many of them have messages about the royalty rates throughout the day.
The question here is whether other music streaming companies (last.fm, imeem, etc.) will face the same struggle that Pandora is. And the answer so far is yes. Perhaps we will need some sort of pay model for these music streaming companies to foot the bill.
Steven Hodson also has some good insight into the issues facing Pandora and the industry at large.
Today I had a chance to speak with Chief Strategy Officer and Founder of Pandora, Tim Westergren. Rather than conduct a normal interview, I asked ya’all for questions that you wanted answers to regarding Pandora. Almost all of your questions were answered and I think we even grabbed a scoop! If you like this style, let me know and we can get more founders and executives to stop by CN and answer your raw questions.
Tim explained that it’s all contingent on royalties and license issues. He said that licensing is a "real mess" both inside and outside the U.S. They are eager to get the service going worldwide and are working hard to do what they can.
Someone asked about how Pandora plans to generate revenue from the iPhone application.
Tim said that iPhone monetization will come from a combination of audio and visual advertising and will launch before the end of 2008.
Tim says that they have to charge for the Blackberry client because the carriers force the fee. Apple was the first to allow free applications and Tim believes other carriers will follow suit soon.
Jericho wanted to know when a Windows Mobile client would be released.
They are hard at work on a Windows Mobile client.
Ben Borges wanted to know how indie musicians can get their music on Pandora.
Send your CD to Pandora – they listen to everything they receive and their music editors decide if the music is listed on Pandora.
Brent Newhall wanted me to find out what’s been the biggest surprise so far for Tim.
Tim says the biggest surprise is how fast the service has grown. Over 15 million registered listeners, 700,000 new listeners added each month. Most listeners tell 6 people about the service and they haven’t spent one penny on marketing.
Sacca wants to spend more money on Pandora but wants an easier impulse interface.
Tim says they are working hard to make it as easy as possible for everyone to spend their money with Pandora – they are also working on coverage for all songs listed on Pandora.
Other notes from our call:
- Most usage is at work on the desktop/laptop. The mobile percentage is growing and Tim says that the iPhone is so important to get more usage in the car and outside the home and office.
- 70% of the music on Pandora comes from artists who are not signed by a major record label.
- Pandora is based in Oakland and there are 120 members of the Pandora team, half are musicians who do music analysis of each song that comes in to be added to the service.
Thanks to Tim for spending some time with me today and thanks to everyone for their great questions! Also check out Jake’s review of Music 2.0.
For those of us that are still living in the dark ages, using Internet radio instead of plugging into our iPods 24/7, I have found a very nice alternative to Launchcast. The site is called "Pandora", and they offer quite a bit more functionality and presentation than Launchcast does.
Within this blog entry, you will find a list of pros and cons for Pandora Radio as it compares to Yahoo!'s Internet Radio application.
First of all, let's take a look at the design of each application. Below you will find a screenshot of Pandora and then a screenshot of Launchcast.
If you would like to compare the two services yourself, or you would like to follow along with my review, here are the links to both services:
Pandora – http://www.pandora.com/
Launchcast – http://www.launchcast.com/
Now I will start a comparison between the two services based on the things you can see just from looking at the screenshots above:
|Works in Firefox just as well as it works in IE. The only system requirements Pandora has is that it requires Flash player. Other than that, you can use it on almost any computer.||Only works in Internet Explorer on Windows.|
|You can easily scroll backwards to see (and rate) the songs you played previously.||You have to wait for the scroller at the bottom to say "See a list of songs you've played recently", then click on that link, which will open a new window to show you the songs you've played.|
|The design is, to be blunt and simple, pretty. It looks like a modern Web application.||Pretty ugly (at least, in my opinion)|
|Does not display any custom information in the browser's title bar.||When it's working properly, it shows the name of the artist and the name of the song that are currently playing in your browser's title bar (and, as a result, in your Windows taskbar).|
|You can set up multiple stations in a free account. In fact, they allow up to 100 custom stations for each user profile.||Free users only get to set up a single station.|
Now I will get a little more in-depth in my analysis of the two services.
Ratings and Station Customization
Unfortunately in Pandora, at this time, you are only able to assign three different ratings to a song that plays. You can give it a "thumbs up", which means that you really like the song. You can give it a "thumbs down", which means you can't stand the song and you never want to hear it again. Finally, you can give it a "Zzz", which means that you like the song, but you've heard it too much recently. That is a nice feature, as that will keep the song on your station, but it will not play it again for 30 days.
Launchcast, however, allows much more in-depth rating and voting. With Launchcast, you can give the song anywhere from 1-4 stars or you can click on a symbol telling the player that you never want to hear that song again. In addition, you can rate the artist and you can rate the album using the same scale.
With Launchcast you also have much more control over choosing your music initially. You can rate artists, albums and individual songs. You can search through the entire library and begin preemptively rating things with very little effort.
In the category of being able to customize your station, Launchcast is still the winner.
In this category, Launchcast seems to still be the winner, offering a great deal more new music than Pandora currently does. Launchcast picks up songs immediately from all sorts of different sources. One instance of this is the newest effort from Bon Jovi. Bon Jovi played the song live during an episode of American Idol this spring. The very next morning, that version played on my Launchcast player.
Another example is a group called "Anterior". They are a new metal band that Launchcast started playing about two or three weeks ago. Pandora, however, still has yet to even know they exist.
However, Pandora does get a leg up in my book. If you search for the band "Laughing Colors" on Pandora and Launchcast, both will return a single album. In the case of Pandora, the album is The Pattern Seed. In the case of Launchcast, the album is The Night Electric Died (an acoustic live performance by the band). The fundamental difference, though, is that you can only "purchase" Laughing Colors music from Launchcast, you can't actually add it to your station. Pandora allows you to add the album right in to your station so that you actually have a chance to hear it.
However, due to the volume of Launchcast's musical library, I am still going to have to give the edge to Launchcast.
So far, after listening to Pandora on and off for a little over a day, I have yet to encounter an error in their player. Launchcast, however, serves up scripting errors all day long, and is usually down for hours at least once or twice a month.
In this category, I have to serve the trophy to Pandora.
Here are some additional features that are available through Pandora:
- You can choose whether you want the player open in your main browser window, or if you want it open in a pop-up
- You can open a context menu for each song that has played on your station. Within that context menu, you can choose to move the song to another station you control, start a new station based on that artist or song, view biographical information about the artist, song or album, you can purchase music from Amazon or iTunes and much more.
- The explicit words filter seems to work much more effectively in Pandora than it does in Launchcast (although it's still not 100% effective). In addition, when you enable the explicit content filter, you can password-protect that feature, so your children cannot edit it.
- From their FAQ, it appears as though Pandora does a much better job of separating holiday music from regular music. I can't tell you how many times I've heard Christmas music from some of my favorite artists on Launchcast, and I haven't yet figured out a way to tell Launchcast not to play holiday music at all.
- Pandora can be embedded in your Web site, added to your blog and subscribed in your RSS Aggregator.
- Pandora can be experienced without a Web browser. They offer their feature-rich application through select Sprint mobile phones, select mobile devices (the Sonos Digital Music System, the Logitech Squeezebox or the Logitech Transporter) and much more.
Overall, the appearance, presentation and performance of Pandora are so much better than Launchcast. Hopefully their features and music library will catch up to Launchcast and we can leave Yahoo! radio in the past very soon.
Curtiss Grymala is the full-time Webmaster for a community college in Virginia. In his spare time, he runs a freelance Web development company called Ten-321 Enterprises, is an active participant in the HTMLCenter Forums and offers small snippets of code and bug reports to the developers and modders of the YaBB Forum system. He has been developing Web sites and applications for nearly 15 years.
Well as many of you know there are a whole bunch of music sites floating around out there. Being the music addict that I am, I figured I'd give a quick overview of the three coolest music sites and let you all be on your way. So I decided to take a look at Last.fm, Pandora, and Finetune. Chances are that if you're into music you've already found these sites, but for those of you who haven't heard of them, they're definitely worth a look!
Last.fm is a social network built around music. When you join you can download a plugin for just about any kind of music player imagineable and Lastfm will keep track of everything you listen to. When it compiles a list of everything that you listen to and then it matches you up with neighbors who have similar tastes, gives you music recommendations and helps you meet new people.
I use Last.fm to track all my music, and search for new people who have the same tastes as I do. It is really the best way to find new music and such from what i've experienced.
Pandora is basically an online jukebox which plays music that matches your taste. It was created from the folks who did the Music Genome Project. When you go to the page you can load up a stream of music from whatever band you would like and you can rate songs with a thumbs up or down. When you give something a thumbs down it will no longer play that song for you and will also eliminate similar songs. There are plenty of bands and types of music on Pandora which means that there is a huge selection for people to choose and listen to.
I use Pandora to sample music, for example when one of my friends tells me about a new band I just fire up Pandora and make a station for that band. Usually I know within the first two or three songs whether or not I like the band.
Finetune is also one of those tools which lets you find who you're looking for fast and lets you sample their music. You can search their huge collection of music for any artist and come up with at least one 30 second sample for almost any artist. It's all flash and has the whole 'web 2.0 look' going on. The coolest thing about Finetune is that you can register an account, make a playlist, and then put their player on your blog wherever you'd like and share music.