Pandora has taken internet radio by storm. According to CEO Joe Kennedy, who spoke at the New Music Seminar earlier this week, it recently reached the milestone of 60 million registered users, and has a 52% market share of online listening. Considering they were close to death just over a year ago, that’s great news for Kennedy and Pandora. Kennedy told the crowd that there are about 90,000 artists on the service, but many are known bands, and it takes specific user requests for them to add new artists. Of note is that of those 90,000 artists, 80% of them are played every month.
However, if you’re an independent artist looking to get your music added to the site, you might have to wait for a while. There are gatekeepers at the service, with only 30% of DIY artists are accepted into Pandora’s system. “We encourage the other 70 percent to improve their art,” Kennedy told the New Music Seminar. Another requirement for prospective artists is that their music be available on Amazon. He says that signals “seriousness” to the staff at Pandora. That’s a little restrictive, especially if you’re a serious artist that’s one of the 70% that gets rejected. On the other hand, 90,000 artists is a hell of a lot more than the 50 to 100 or so that most radio stations have at any given time.