A Spotify-style Facebook integration is not on the roadmap for Pandora -- and may never be -- according to founder Tim Westergren. Instead, the company is pushing a strategy that prioritizes Pandora's homegrown social networking tools, while still enabling some push updates and connectivity options through Facebook, Twitter, and email. "We're going to watch how [those tools are] embraced and what listeners tell us and that will sort of dictate how do we evolve it over time," Westergren recently told Forbes.
And, that's not right now. "Since Spotify isn't seen (or at least acknowledged) as a threat, Westergren says he hasn't felt pressure to integrate Pandora with Facebook or other social platforms in order to keep it competitive," relayed Forbes journalist Jeff Bercovici. "Instead, it's pushing its own suite of social features."
That wait-and-see gives a huge theoretical head-start to Spotify, whose front-of-the-line Facebook handshake is just getting started. Currently, Spotify listening habits are being saturated throughout Facebook, with endless feedback loops the natural result.
But Westergren doesn't seem alarmed. Quite the contrary: the guy who brought personalized radio to the doorstep of the mainstream sees fundamental differences that favor Pandora. "Fundamentally an on-demand service is complementary to radio," Westergren said, while further estimating that 80 percent of music listening is non-interactive, radio-style listening, with 20 percent on-demand. "I don't [see that changing] in really a substantial way."
But what are these Pandora networking tools, anyway? As part of its HTML5-based facelift a few months ago, Pandora introduced a number of sharing and profile capabilities. That's available to a community of more than 100 million, though the question now is whether the world is too obsessed with their Facebook profiles to notice -- or, at least engage in a serious way.
Calysta Rose Saturday, November 05, 2011
Not remotely a mistake. Spotify's forced integration with Facebook is why I've stopped using it entirely. Pandora more than fulfills my needs and I happily paid for a year's subscription.
Free Williams Sunday, November 06, 2011
This link says it all. The music servcies that hitch their wagon to Facebook made a fatal mistake.
Only Rhapsody and Rdio were smart enough to avoid this.
dvl_music Monday, November 07, 2011
Internet radio was successful prior to Facebook...and will continue to be successful without Facebook integration. After the backlash from Spotify users, other companies should be weary of "jumping on the band wagon."
Side note: Pandora users have had the option to "share" whatever they are listening to through FB for years already, what more do you really want?
@richard_sussman Monday, November 07, 2011
Big Mistake? Perhaps Not!
RFlynn Monday, November 07, 2011
Mr. Westergren, et al. decisions not to jump at every opportunity that comes across their desks is wise both short-term and, especially long-term. We are currently experiencing the “Gold Rush” in the digital music age, except those involved have no tools; thus, they are panicking and trying to find anyone else that may be marginally appropriate to partner with them. In too many instances it is misery loves company as the warts are not found through proper due diligence. Panic is not the path to long-term growth, or solvency, in too many cases – it’s like the old dartboard adage – throw all the darts and see what sticks.
Although I believe that the Pandora folks should be keeping their eyes peeled for opportunities or initiatives that will br beneficial (which I am sure they are doing) they are not making a mistake.