On our summer trip to Virginia this weekend, my son opened Pandora's box for me, and it's not at all what I thought!
We'd been in the car for about 2.5 hours and I was getting bored. I had left my iPod in the trunk and we couldn't get a consistent radio station for more than a few miles. I was starting to get a little restless.
"I need some music!" I shouted out from the driver's seat. My 17 year-old son quickly responded, "What kind do you want?" "Fun and upbeat," I snapped back. "Name an artist," said he. "DONNA SUMMER!"
Next thing I knew, "She Works Hard For The Money" was blasting through the 6 speakers in our little car.
"How the hell did you do that?" asked I. "PANDORA!"
Now I had heard of Pandora, that's for sure. But I'd never opened the box. Wow, what I've been missing! Pandora didn't just play Donna Summer, it played a buffet of music just like Donna Summer with a track here and there from the Diva mixed in. It was amazing, and it made the next 3.5 hours of car travel go by so fast.
So then the marketer in me kicked in and I asked him how Pandora makes money. My son quickly told me about the advertising model (in his words) and how it all makes sense. A voice-over ad once in awhile, little games on the screen, and of course links to sponsored websites. Got it.
Pandora is now a staple for me ... on the road, at the gym, and during my commute. I even used it for our little happy hour last night.