I love Pandora music service — please help save it

One of the real advantages to living in the Bay Area is the access to smart people who ARE doing it for the love of what they do. Tom Conrad, CTO of Pandora, is one of those guys. They just announced a new mobile service as well as integration with Sonos. TechCrunch has the details on that.

But here Tom and I walk around San Francisco on a Saturday a week ago — both of us doing this on our own time. This is probably one of the more important videos I’ve done. Why? Because you should listen to Tom talking about how the business of Internet Radio is under pressure due to coming changes in how the music industry wants Internet Radio stations to pay for the distribution of music (basically the costs will triple, if the proposed changes go into effect). After we talk about the challenges that Pandora’s business faces if the fee changes go through Tom gives me a preview of their new Sprint/mobile service.

Just today the music industry tried to react to some of the concerns Tom is talking about, but they came up short. For one, how are they going to define what’s a “small” vs. “big” podcaster or Internet Radio station? If we don’t figure this out we’ll see most Internet music disappear. The costs are just going to be too high to keep going. Tom does the best job of explaining why we should care that I’ve heard so far. Hope you enjoy.

Pandora is a music service where you can put in a song, say AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bells.” Then Pandora will bring you other music that is similar to that. It basically builds a radio station on the fly with music that matches your tastes.

UPDATE: If you only have eight minutes, instead of 30 for the full interview, check out our Editor’s Choice where you get just the highlights.

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The counterpoint to Mike’s post…

I also remember 2001/2002. I had a car wreck, 9/11 happened, my grandma died, I had to lay myself off, was unemployed for a couple of months, got divorced, etc.

Today I look out the window of my beautiful Half Moon Bay house and the sun is shining and I have tons of friends who are working to make all of our lives better, am married to a wonderful person, have a kid on the way, and I have thousands of tech bloggers to read where back then there were only a handful of good tech blogs.

I don’t want to go back to 2001/2002, thank you very much, even if that time did bring us a raft of blogging companies and forced Google to find a business model.