Is Pandora opening up?

There’s an interesting press release about Pandora and Friendster hooking up together to bring a social dimension to Pandora’s ‘personal radio stations’. (The press release currently appears on Friendster’s site, but not on Pandora’s — not sure if there’s any significance in that.)

Bringing Friendster and Pandora together takes the experience to another
level: Friendster Radio expands the universe of music discovery beyond the
individual listener to the listener’s friends and the entire Friendster
Network. Friendster users build radio stations that can be shared, evolve,
and even become ‘hits’ on Friendster.

According to Larissa Le, Friendster’s Product Director, “The combination of the two elements creates a truly unique — and incredibly powerful — way to discover and listen to music. There’s just nothing like this anywhere else.”

Has Ms Le not heard of, which provides exactly the social dimension missing from Pandora? In the past I’ve been critical of Pandora’s ‘closed box’ approach to its data (compared with’s openness). I wonder if this latest development signals any recognition that the closed model is not sustainable. As Ian Rogers has pointed out, Pandora does not leverage the power of the network.

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