Re: My Song Was Played 3.1 Million Times on Pandora. My Check Was $39...
Both are true.
Pandora is like radio in the sense that you can't choose exactly what is played, but you can decide the kind of music you listen to by tuning into "stations", which are created based on a user-specified song, genre or artist.
It is also unlike radio in the sense that it learns from your likes and dislikes in order to predict what you may find interesting based on the specific qualities of the songs. This "music discovery" aspect of the service lets you find new artists and songs that you may have never heard of.