Yesterday, Billboard reported that Clear Channel Radio’s iheartradio is teaming up with The Echo Nest in a move that is expected to do some real damage to Pandora Radio. The Echo Nest advertises itself as “the world’s first machine-learning platform for music,” which basically does away with Pandora’s human-based approach to characterizing music.
For iheartradio, this means that listeners will be able to create their own personal radio station, something Clear Channel has been working toward for years. Billboard says that Clear Channel reached out to The Echo Nest a year ago to develop the technology to do this.
Billboard says The Echo Nest has 5 billion data points for its 30 million song database. The data points characterize song similarities, moods, styles and acoustic attributes. And iheartradio’s sheer size dwarfs Pandora’s, with iheartradio boasting almost 11 million songs, while Pandora struggles to hit one million. But while the technology is bigger, the site points out an algorithm-based method might not be better than Pandora’s human approach to characterizing music.