“Media convergence is more than simply a technological shift. Convergence alters the relationship between existing technologies, industries, markets, genres and audiences.” – Henry Jenkins (2004)
The technological coup that has rapidly taken hold of the entire planet over the last few decades has had a significant impact upon the continuously changing and evolving nature of the relationship between the producer and the consumer in this digital landscape. No longer are the producers selling a product to their audience, but rather they are selling their audience to their product, and no longer are these consumers passive in the face of the producers, but rather progressively more and more active, expressive and dictatorial (Jenkins, 2004). As a result of this, producers in all fields have had to re-think their pre-historic strategies and ways of thinking in order to avoid becoming forgotten relics themselves (Jenkins, 2004).
In relation to radio, the ability to adapt to this new environment and evolve to survive is best embodied by Pandora Internet Radio. During recent decades consumers have seen a major flaw in the traditional radio: the inability to connect and personalise. Regardless of how broad the music they broadcast may be, no analogue radio station can please all of its listeners. This results in an estranged audience where no one group or person is fully satisfied with their experience. However, what Pandora have done is give their audience that ability to truly connect with and personalise their radio experience through the Music Genome Project (Pandora, 2012). This technology enables users to create their own personal stations based on genre, artist or temporal preference, have an array of free songs selected and played for them based on these preferences, share the music they enjoy and give feedback so to further narrow down Pandora’s selection of music to a very specific musical formula that reflects their tastes, however, only if they agree to the strict terms and conditions surrounding piracy and copyright enforced by Pandora (Pandora, 2012). It is this new ability to “to archive, annotate, appropriate and recirculate media content in powerful (but controlled) new ways” (Jenkins, 2004) that has resulted in Pandora’s huge success.
1. Jenkins, H 2004, The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence, in ‘International Journal of Cultural Studies’, Volume 7(1), pp. 33-42
2. http://www.pandora.com/about, Pandora Media, Inc. 2012, About Pandora, Oakland