Pandora Vs. Human Programming: What Do Listeners Prefer?
July 20, 2012 at 11:04 AM (PT)
SOCIAL RADIO and R&DIO will test to determine if music listeners prefer a human-curated music experience or an algorithm-selected music experience. Specifically, R&DIO will ask listeners if they prefer PANDORA’s Music Genome* or a radio DJ; the website www.DJsVsRobots.com was launched today to administer the test.
"PANDORA offers listeners a compelling experience and they’ve been rewarded with great success," R&DIO Creator and SOCIAL RADIO Dir./Sales CARL MAGNUSON stated. "But is PANDORA’s core value, their music algorithm, better than a human at curating a listening experience? And would listeners be able to tell them apart? We don’t know. So let’s test it!"
R&DIO recruited the help of longtime SAN DIEGO PD GARETT MICHAELS to represent the human side of the blind listening taste test. To conduct the test as fairly as possible R&DIO took several steps to ensure an accurate and unbiased experiment. Those steps included:
1. PANDORA and the DJ, GARETT MICHAELS, were both given the same song to start with for inspiration and were free to go in whatever musical direction they wanted.
2. The playlists aren’t marked so a participant won’t know which is which.
3. The playlist in the first position is randomized each time the page loads (Sometimes the DJ will be first, sometimes PANDORA will be first).
4. Each participant may only vote once.
5. Each vote will be verified by link sent to e-mail.
R&DIO hopes that results from the test at www.DJsVsRobots.com will contribute to Radio’s understanding of listener preferences and lead to innovation in the way broadcast and online stations create and present their content. Results of the test will be published prior to the fall NAB RADIO SHOW this SEPTEMBER in DALLAS.