Internet Radio Showdown: Spotify vs. Pandora
  • MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2012

  • Posted by: Amanda Scherker

It seems like ages ago that Pandora stepped onto the music scene, offering to be your personal DJ. The site could spin tracks for any taste or occasion, be it an 80s theme frat night or a stressful workday. Pick an artist, song, or mood, and Pandora knew how to get the party started, sorting over 400 different musical attributes when picking its track list. Pandora was eager to please, too you could give each track a thumbs up or thumbs down, and skip any tunes that didnt suit your fickle fancy.

Cue 2010, when Sean Parker -- the dark king of the underworld of music pirating who infamously made himself persona non grata to every major record label character with his early 2000s Napster program -- teamed up with a Swedish company to catapult a new (surprisingly, legal) music venture to the world market: Spotify. Spotify is like a music public library -- except you pay for the perks by sitting still through incessant (unavoidable) commercial breaks after every few songs. Spotify also only allows you to skip five tracks per a session. In exchange, it offers free access to a mind-boggling supply of music. Paid membership allows even greater access and quality, with no commercial breaks.

Competition between the two programs seemed inevitable. And now, Spotify has announced a new radio station option, in effect, co-opting Pandoras well-honed craft. And with a library of 16 million tune compare that with Pandoras paltry 1 million track allowance, it seems likely, if not inevitable that Spotify is going to eat Pandora for brunch. While Pandora knows how to pamper you, especially if you've been using the service for a number of years, Spotify is guaranteed to have all your favorite new albums. In our minds, Pandora's the mom and pop shop where you know every employee to Spotify's Wal-Mart, where you're just another person waiting in the checkout line. Who's going to win the battle for your ears and heart? Only time will tell.

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