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May 04, 2011

Pandora Unveils Personalized Comedy

By Michelle Amodio, TMCnet Contributor

Pandora (News - Alert) users: not only can you create stations based on your favorite songs, bands and genres, now you can add a little laugh to your day based on the same algorithms.

Much like its Music Genome Project, Pandora is broadening its array of content to include comedy in order to meet the requests of its listeners. Powered by what is known as the Comedy Genome Project, analysts at Pandora have culled through thousands of comedic performances to add to its offerings. Additional comedic material is being analyzed daily.

"Pandora is about creating a great, personalized radio experience. Comedy is a natural part of that experience, and it's something our listeners have been asking us to deliver for a while. We are delighted to now be able to give people a mix of familiar and new comic material that they'll love to listen to,” said Pandora Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Tim Westergren.

Listeners can create comedy stations based on their favorite comedians, or on popular genres such as political comedy, working class comedy, PG comedy, or comedy from the 2000s, 60s and 70s, or 80s and 90s.

In a blog entry on Pandora’s site from last night, company honchos boast that starting now, there are already over 700 comedians with more than 10,000 tracks loaded into their system. Part of the announcement reads:

“It’s been a very fun experience, taking what we’ve learned in music and applying it to a whole new category. Now, instead of talking about “minor keys,” “falsetto,” and “extensive vamping,” our comedy-analysts capture “odd juxtaposition” (A horse walks into a bar…), “misdirection” and “spoonerisms” (a well-boiled icicle, instead of a well-oiled bicycle)…”

Some of the comedians that are now available on Pandora include Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, George Carlin, Mitch Hedberg and John Rivers, according to The New York Times. And like its musical counterpart, comedy on Pandora will also come with audio advertisements. Unilever is Pandora's first advertiser and will be promoting its Axe male body products and Klondike bars.

Starting today, people can listen to comedy on Pandora in the same manner that they listen to music: by choosing a favorite artist or genre as a seed to start a station and then giving thumbs-up or thumbs-down feedback to shape the station to their individual taste. Like music stations on Pandora, comedy stations will play the seed artist and related material.


Michelle Amodio is a TMCnet contributor. She has helped promote companies and groups in all industries, from technology to banking to professional roller derby. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing from Endicott College and currently works in marketing, journalism, and public relations as a freelancer.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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