Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Music Media Entertainment

Pandora Trying Out Invasive Commercial Breaks 244

Posted by kdawson
from the knew-it-had-to-be-coming dept.
Nathan Halverson writes "The popular online radio service Pandora.com has added brief commercial interruptions to its service. Pandora says this is a trial and is targeted to a subset of listeners at this point. In one case, a brief ad for the Fox TV show 'Lie To Me' interrupted the music stream for about 15 seconds after ten songs had initially played, and the same commercial interrupted 22 songs later. 'But [Pandora's] founder promised the site will never carry as many audio ads as broadcast radio, despite the fact it pays substantially higher royalty fees to the recording industry.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Pandora Trying Out Invasive Commercial Breaks

Comments Filter:
  • by captainpanic (1173915) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @06:02AM (#26543735)

    I'd be willing to pay money for any program that filters out adds (without making too many mistakes).
    I've always wondered why this doesn't exist for TV.
    And I wondered what you should play during the adds... a random mp3 from your computer perhaps?

    Alternatively, you can also switch to another station :D

    • by gravos (912628) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @06:18AM (#26543799) Homepage
      I for one am understanding of their need to generate revenue to maintain the excellent service. Especially they go to some of the background or portable options they've hinted at before, audio ads may be the only way to do that. I heard the McDonald's ad and considered it far less intrusive than the types of ads I get on other "free" Internet radio services. If they can design all their ads like that--NPR style, so to speak--and not make them constant interruptions to them music (start up and/or change of station are good ideas), then I say go for it. If that helps keep Pandora free and improving, I'm all for it.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by captainpanic (1173915)

        Hmm... of course the station needs to get money from somewhere. I always thought that record companies pay stations to play their songs. Radio is the best add for a song (and music is a product that is advertised on radio). Why advertise anything else when radio is almost 100% advertisement? :D

        I immediately admit that I am not aware of the business model of radio in 2009 (both internet or the good ol' fashioned one with photons hitting your antenna).

        In the ideal case, the record company should be omitted. B

        • by digitig (1056110) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @07:01AM (#26544035)

          Bands who want to be known give their songs to a station which broadcasts it. Band becomes famous, and people pay for the concert. But then again, I also believe in Utopia :D

          That model does actually exist out there on the net -- the billboard at http://www.themusicwellhome.co.uk/ [themusicwellhome.co.uk] for instance.

        • by davester666 (731373) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @07:08AM (#26544081) Journal

          > Hmm... of course the station needs to get money from somewhere. I always thought that record companies pay stations to play their songs. Radio is the best add for a song (and music is a product that is advertised on radio). Why advertise anything else when radio is almost 100% advertisement? :D

          Um, it's kinda crazy, but this is known as "payola". It's not illegal for the labels to pay stations to play their songs, BUT the station has to disclose that they were paid to play the song.

          Evidently, kids (who are the primary consumers of music) tend to tune out things they know are ads. So, the record labels have gone to extraordinary lengths (and have been caught MULTIPLE times) to pay radio stations to play their music WITHOUT saying they were paid to play it (easiest way to know a radio station was paid to play a song, the DJ will say it's the most requested song).

          The labels are trying really hard to get radio stations to pay royalties, so they can get some of their payola money back...

          • by Nursie (632944) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @07:46AM (#26544293)

            >Evidently, kids (who are the primary consumers of music) tend to tune out things they know are ads.

            Actually, I think pretty much all of us that have grown up with pervasive advertising have an internal trip switch these days. It's a sad fact, but the way to keep sane in the modern (urban) environment is to selectively ignore most of the world around you.

            Advertisers look for ever more invasive ways to get our attention, and then wonder why advertising has less and less effect. it's because we hate you and have learned to ignore you to the extent we don't even realise you're there half the time.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by ShieldW0lf (601553)
              Actually, I think pretty much all of us that have grown up with pervasive advertising have an internal trip switch these days. It's a sad fact, but the way to keep sane in the modern (urban) environment is to selectively ignore most of the world around you.

              Advertisers look for ever more invasive ways to get our attention, and then wonder why advertising has less and less effect. it's because we hate you and have learned to ignore you to the extent we don't even realise you're there half the time.


              You o
              • by Nursie (632944) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @09:55AM (#26545131)

                You only believe that because they told you to. Advertisers fill your head with answers to questions you never asked then when you are called on to make a decision and you're too lazy to do research or too tired to really think about what you want, you use the answers they gave you as your own.

                I don't believe that for a second. I'm the kinda guy that reads ingredients lists on everything from kitchen cleaners to pharmaceuticals. I am not under the control of advertisers or marketing fuckheads, thanks. If you are then I pity you.

                • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @11:05AM (#26545917) Journal
                  I don't believe that for a second. I'm the kinda guy that reads ingredients lists on everything from kitchen cleaners to pharmaceuticals. I am not under the control of advertisers or marketing fuckheads, thanks. If you are then I pity you.

                  If you believe that, more power to you. But everyone gets tired, everyone has moments of vulnerability where they don't want to exercise diligence. If you haven't been exposed to advertising, you get a dull look on your face because you don't have an answer and you need one and you don't want to exercise the effort, but eventually you do because you have no other option. If you have been exposed to advertising, you take the easy out because it's there. It's just part of being human.

                  You think you're some highly intelligent person who isn't vulnerable to these effects, and that the advertisers are preying on the sheep, who are all much stupider and less sophisticated than you are. But you're mistaken. The people the advertisers are preying on are just like you, and you're just like them.
                  • by Nursie (632944)

                    "If you haven't been exposed to advertising, you get a dull look on your face because you don't have an answer and you need one and you don't want to exercise the effort,"

                    Answers to what?

                    What exactly are we talking about here? the meaning of life? Which catfood to buy? (hint, the one the cat likes wins)

                    What?

                    Because to me advertising is pretty much just noise.

                    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                      by ShieldW0lf (601553)
                      "If you haven't been exposed to advertising, you get a dull look on your face because you don't have an answer and you need one and you don't want to exercise the effort," Answers to what? What exactly are we talking about here? the meaning of life? Which catfood to buy? (hint, the one the cat likes wins) What? Because to me advertising is pretty much just noise.

                      We're talking about the cat food you grab off the shelf when you have no cat food at home, the one your cat likes is sold out, you don't k
                    • by Nursie (632944)

                      "If that's not evidence that advertising targetting the subconscious works, I don't know what is."

                      Or that advertising doesn't work, or that people are starting to get immune to it.

                      Evidence that advertising targetiing the subconscious works would require showing that it actually has an effect on top of not being noticed.

                    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                      by Nursie (632944)

                      I also think that this is nothing like the initial point of my comment - that it is getting harder and harder for any advertiser to get their message across in the sea of advertising noise, and the sea of noise makes it easier to ignore.

                      Because there is SO damned much of it and most of it does not get through, in order to be heard you have to be both annoying and pervasive, which is not cheap and doesn't always produce a good result.

                      What's your argument? That regardless of exposure we're all like a blank pa

                • by thepotoo (829391)

                  It is not possible that you haven't been influenced to some extent.

                  As the GP pointed out, advertising is more about brand awareness than anything else. You may think you're immune, and maybe on a conscious level you are, but somewhere they are most certainly making a difference.

                  Anecdote: I thought I was capable of ignoring advertising, too. I don't watch TV, I use adblock, and I don't read magazines. A few years ago, I used exclusively ATI cards. Nvidia wasn't even considered an option. I went to pick

                  • by Nursie (632944)

                    I'm not immune to brand awareness, you can't be these days, I just don't think they have any real impact.

                    I try not to be a fanboy of anything. I've had nVidia and ATI cards, both worked pretty well. I also like the intel card in my workstation because it's friendly to Linux, which I like because I don't have to pay for it and it does stuff I like...

                    I'm not totally free of ad influence, I'm sure, but I am oblivious to most of it.

              • by Hatta (162192)

                Which doesn't work if you purposefully ignore advertising, and purposefully avoid buying products with advertising you're unable to ignore. I won't say I'm immune, but practically immune. I buy what's cheap, not what I've seen advertised. If you want to manipulate me, you're going to have to do it with sales.

            • Yeah I now actually have to look to find ads on pages now days. Any ad that does catch my attention generally only does so by being super annoying with the flashing colors and vibrating messageboxes or the goddamn Intellitxt ones. (I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.) When that happens I immediately adblock the entire domain that provided that ad. I don't do that very often though.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by kabocox (199019)

              Actually, I think pretty much all of us that have grown up with pervasive advertising have an internal trip switch these days. It's a sad fact, but the way to keep sane in the modern (urban) environment is to selectively ignore most of the world around you.

              Advertisers look for ever more invasive ways to get our attention, and then wonder why advertising has less and less effect. it's because we hate you and have learned to ignore you to the extent we don't even realise you're there half the time.

              Reminds me

          • by shark72 (702619)

            "Hmm... of course the station needs to get money from somewhere. I always thought that record companies pay stations to play their songs."

            I'm loving the fact that your post is 5, Informative.

            By now it's been pointed out that it works the other way. Radio stations pay the rightsholders. In terrestrial radio, the songwriters and performers get most of the money (this is a good thing). The record companies, feeling left out, got the rules changed for Internet radio so that they get a sizeable piece of the pi

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          OK, I have to get this off my chest.

          1) It's AD, not ADD. FFS.

          2) RADIOS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY! That is to say, they don't use photons for any portion of their operation.

          This message brought to you by your local science and english teachers.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by captainpanic (1173915)

            Thanks for the correction. It's a silly mistake.

            Regarding point 2, the electromagnetic spectrum goes from Gamma rays, through X-rays, UV, visible light, IR, to radio waves. Those are all photons. And they're also all waves.

            It's just that we like to think of radio as waves, and X-ray and gamma as particles. In the end, all of them are both: both wave and particle.

          • RADIOS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY! That is to say, they don't use photons for any portion of their operation.

            That would be one of those special radios that you need to physically plug in to the sound source?

        • by billcopc (196330)

          The system you describe makes far too much sense, which is precisely why the record companies want no part of it. They do everything they can to suck money up, and everything they can to avoid paying money out. Whether your definition of "everything" includes legal abuse, tax fraud, racketeering, murder and extortion, well that's up to you.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Gulthek (12570)

        Hear hear!

        I, for one, am throughly sick of the notion that all content on the Internet must be free as a matter of principle.

        Things cost money, get over it. I'd rather give Pandora a few seconds of my listening time for ads than pay them a subscription. Although I'd seriously lean towards subscribing if they ever provide the option again.

        • by facelessnumber (613859) <drewNO@SPAMpittman.ws> on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @04:08PM (#26550985) Homepage

          I'd rather give Pandora a few seconds of my listening time for ads than pay them a subscription.

          And I'd rather give Pandora a few dollars of my paycheck than listen to their ads.

          Maybe this "entitlement generation" people keep talking about is just weary of being pestered by constant advertising shitting on every second of their lives. I feel like I'm walking downtown and every block there's a hobo with his hand out who won't take no for an answer. When I'm listening to music- actually listening, not just hearing it for background, it's because I'm trying to turn my mind off and enjoy a precious few minutes of free time. Between responsibilities at work and at home, being on call, being dad to a two year old, these minutes I have, say when I'm driving alone or wasting time in the garage with music playing, or just staying up for half an hour after everyone goes to bed... These moments are near sacred to me, and to be interrupted by a stupid commercial for shit I don't care about is infuriating.

          Pandora was the answer for me, but if they start advertising I'm going back to "stealing" mp3s.

    • by Roland Piquepaille (780675) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @06:18AM (#26543803)

      I'd be willing to pay money for any program that filters out adds (without making too many mistakes). I've always wondered why this doesn't exist for TV.

      Isn't that what TiVo is for?

      • by Joce640k (829181)

        I just mute the TV sound when the adverts come on, you'd be amazed at the difference it makes.

        (Obviously this doesn't work too well with radio...)

        • by bytesex (112972) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @06:27AM (#26543861) Homepage

          What I don't understand is why TVs don't yet have a function that not only mutes it, but also makes the screen almost dark. So that you can just spot when your program is back on.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            My grandfather used to turn off the tv when the commercials came on, and we would sit there in awkward silence until he turned it back on. He became surprisingly good at turning it back on at the right time. We convinced him into something with a mute button in the early 90's

          • by fyrewulff (702920)

            There was a bunch of TVs in the early to mid 90s that sold with a feature called "Smart Sound". My grandmother (rest her soul) got one. The difference was amazing - what it did was normalize the sound so that it was all level.

            What this mostly neutered was all the TV ads that crank the volume up. With the smart sound enabled TV, you could barely hear them, because the TV quieted them down to match the show, and so the poor mixing to make the commercial sound loud made it so it didn't "stand out" so much.

            Unfo

          • I had an RCA TV in the middle of the 90's that had a commercial skip function. You'd hit the button on the remote and a 30-second countdown timer would appear on the screen. You kept pressing the button until you had set in the expected length of the commercial break. Then, you could channel surf as much as you wanted and when the countdown timer hit zero, you'd be flipped back to your original station. It was dead simple and worked surprisingly well.
        • I just mute the TV sound when the adverts come on, you'd be amazed at the difference it makes.

          (Obviously this doesn't work too well with radio...)

          With radio, what you want to do is mute the video during ads.

      • by redxxx (1194349)

        Tivo doesn't do any filtering though. They need to teach it to do two things.

        1) Add a skip forward backward feature that looks for abrupt changes in the image. If 100% of the broadcast image changes from one frame to the next, that's obviously either a gap between commercials or scenes. Now, they hang all sorts of logos and letter boxes around the signal, so it would need to have a variable threshold and probably look at a few different factors(actual pixels, aggregated measurements colour and brightness

        • by afidel (530433)
          Or you could roll your own with Mediaportal and use Comskip to automatically filter the ads for you.
    • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @06:19AM (#26543811) Homepage

      The Internet shaped them, the Internet can break them. Look at what happened to Napster.

      • by thermian (1267986) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @09:04AM (#26544767)

        What, so internet only media companies shouldn't be allowed to make a profit? Seriously?

        You need to revise your ideas I think. If all you want is good quality free services that don't advertise, you're going to have to do them yourself, because no-one else will.
        Companies that don't make a profit become one of two things, dead companies, or slowly degrading services that then get bought by larger companies.
        If the latter its rare that the original appeal survives the process.
        Twitter is a good example. They have no advertising, make no profits from their customers, and have millions of users. How long do you think Twitters going to last in its current form? I'd give it less than a year.

        • by Thaelon (250687)

          There's no "should" to it. People are always going to try and get as much as they can for as little as they can. The opposing force is that businesses are trying to get as much money as possible for as little expense as possible. And given the internet, people are going to find ways to get free, or nearly free digital content. They're going to take pay to play content and distribute it in free fashions. They're going to take advertisement laden content and strip out the ads. These are both inevitable.

          Wh

    • by wjh31 (1372867)
      or go for the premium service. I dont know how pandora works exactly (im in the uk), but lastfm has a premium service, i assume if last fm were to ever resort to adverts, they would offer a premium service without them, and if more people were to take up the premium service before such a time, they are less likely to need to add ads to the free service
    • by xlotlu (1395639) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @06:36AM (#26543921)

      I'd be willing to pay money for any program that filters out adds (without making too many mistakes). I've always wondered why this doesn't exist for TV.

      Sorry to disappoint you, but you don't need to pay for MythTV [mythtv.org]. From the features list:

      • Completely automatic commercial detection/skipping, with manual correction via an intuitive cutlist editor.
    • You don't play anything during the ads. You stream the music to your hard drive, and start listening a couple of minutes later. This gives the filter time to snip out the bits. Then, if you run out, you can stop listening for a half hour and do something else, etc. If anybody asks, just say you liked the ads :)

      If you're using mplayer to listen to a stream (not just audio, video can work too), look up the -dumpstream option. Then open a second instance later and just play the dump while the first instance

    • by kimvette (919543)

      How do you expect them to pay for their cost of operation, and yes, this includes reasonable salaries for their owners and employees, preferably at market rates not poverty level livings.

      Do you object? Is one 15-second advert after 10-12 songs too much? Of course not.

    • by nahdude812 (88157) *

      Pandora already offers this. A $36/yr subscription eliminates the ads.

    • Id be willing to pay for Pandora, but frankly there just isn't enough music at this point. If you have a broad selection of music on your station, you probably won't get repeats. In my situation, I've created a station for NY style hip hop, but have yet to hear anything I haven't heard before since I started listening. In fact, it seems like Pandora is just using a series of playlists and including them into a bigger playlists based on your tastes. If they added a bigger variety of music, and perhaps st
    • by Asic Eng (193332)
      You could use MythTV - it has pretty good commercial detection. I timeshift everything, so I don't really need to wait while the ads are on - I just enable autoskip.
    • by shark72 (702619) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @10:44AM (#26545657)

      Rather than looking for a third party to pay for the service of filtering Pandora ads for you, why not just subscribe to Pandora? It's $36 a year. That's $3 a month. You can afford it.

      Sadly, the tone of many of the posts so far is that Pandora is now evil. That's really quite sad. They've been providing you a free service for years, while absorbing the cost of broadcast royalties.

      I've been a Pandora subscriber for a while. Not so I'd get anything out of it (but as a bonus, I'm not hearing the ads), but because I believe in what they do and because they've helped me find a lot of great music.

    • by multisync (218450)

      Alternatively, you can also switch to another station :D

      That's what I came here to post. My favorite station [radioparadise.com] is commercial-free and listener-supported. I encourage people to seek out stations and other business who are employing this business model and support them.

      This is really the best response to the idiotic behavior of the MPAA and RIAA. Don't "steal" music and movies, support those who are offering an alternative. They can call us "thieves" all they like, but if we can point to examples like RadioPara

    • by denzacar (181829)

      That would require digitally "flagging" commercials. Or, an online database that would hold "signatures" of known commercials.
      Slap that on a digital recording system that would recognize commercials either by flag or by signature - and there is your system.

    • I'd be willing to pay money for any program that filters out adds (without making too many mistakes). I've always wondered why this doesn't exist for TV

      The problem with that solution is that it does not scale. If everybody did it, the broadcasters would go away.

      A scalable solution would be for you and others like you to pay money to the broadcasters to not run ads.

  • ... to 8 years ago when everything was free and there was no oversight on anything. Please? Pretty please?
  • by wjh31 (1372867) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @06:18AM (#26543801) Homepage
    isnt that invasive, on seeing 'invasive' i imagined comming in in the middle of a song, the title is poorly worded. Plus id much rather hear a few adverts than pay money, ideally neither, but if high royalties means one advert per ten songs (15s advert per 10 2.5min songs is only one 1% advert time) then id rather that than have it disapear.

    However, If its the same advert over and over, that will get tedious, ive played a few free versions of games that have been ad sponsored, and to have the same advert over and over is just annoying.
  • 'But [Pandora's] founder promised the site will never carry as many audio ads as broadcast radio, despite the fact it pays substantially higher royalty fees to the recording industry.'

    Same old half-truth. 1 second less is still "never as much as".

  • by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @06:23AM (#26543843)

    Another service to stop using. I'd rather pay/subscribe than listen to ads (not that the same promise didn't stop ads on cable tv). Not even regular radio interrupts songs in the middle, although a lot of obnoxiously talk into the beginning or cut off the end with their chatter. And replacing Satellite Radio with an iPhone/data_contract + Pandora seemed like a decent idea a while back.

    What is it with advertising becoming so pervasive the last 50+ years that it actually ruins the medium it trojan horses itself in to the audience? On TV, the channels seem to enjoy ruining their shows with invasive in-show advertising for other crappy shows on the same channel. I cancelled my premium subscription when those sets of channels insisted on ruining all their shows, like a subtitled movie by covering the subtitles at the worst points with in-show ads. I know this is a reaction to TIVOing, but really, even with a DVR I usually just recorded something and forgot to skip ads half the time. I'd buy the DVD of that subtitled movie mentioned, but then I am forced to watch previews to "coming soon" movies that are long since gone from the theaters. Pirates are better off.

    Since I was a teenager, I stopped buying branded shirts, as I refused to pay to be a walking billboard for some corp. It's weird how that became popular. And it's strange that the internet is one of the few mostly ad-free places left if the user chooses (adblock, noscript, etc) yet I bought more based on word-of-mouth there than any actual advertisement in the real world. Just seems like a giant waste of $$$ to be honest.

    Hell, look at Geico commercials, at least they at least try to be entertaining. Maybe more advertising to follow the same route, becoming patrons of specific songs/etc (like in the middle ages) and actually add to the mediums rather than sabotaging them.

    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @06:58AM (#26544019) Homepage Journal

      The fundamental problem with all of this is that Pandora is advertising. The Music Labels get a service which is not super-trivial for you to download music from (by no means impossible) so that you can sample their music - since Pandora won't just let you listen to it how you want when you want, you may be compelled to buy it. Now they want to add commercials for shit I'm not listening to as well? If companies want to advertise to me on Pandora they can pay to have their songs ranked up, so that I hear them more. Instead, I have to say goodbye to Pandora at a time when I'm considering actually having enough bandwidth to use it. But since there are many non-commercial internet radio options, I guess I'll use one of those instead. Station ID bumpers are annoying enough when I'm in a groove, commercials are simply unacceptable to me. (I'm one of those annoying "I don't watch TV" fucks, but even when I did, I muted all commercials.)

      • by rolfwind (528248)

        You're absolutely correct. This actually applies to lesser degrees to terrestial radio and satellite radio. Except that terrestial radio plays only the top 10/40 at any given time, which for pop is fine since it's always new crap every so often, but for anythng remotely older or niche - it becomes a repetitive cycle to an audience who has heard it for years already and since they will undoubtedly hear it again have little incentive to go and buy it anyway. Sattelite is a bit better as far as exposing the

      • If companies want to advertise to me on Pandora they can pay to have their songs ranked up, so that I hear them more.

        I really hope this never happens. I listen to pandora to find music that I like, not what the record execs want me to like.

        (And yes, I use it as a music discovery service. I've bought about two albums a month from pandora's amazon affiliate link.

        Have you done your part to help keep them alive?)

    • by pr0nbot (313417)
      Radio and TV are more about delivering you to the advertisers (i.e. making money to keep going) than delivering content to you. It's a balancing act, so you'll likely end up at the point of diminishing returns, i.e. the point where the monetary benefit of more advertising divided by the number of listeners stops rising and starts falling.
    • by iamhigh (1252742)

      becoming patrons of specific songs/etc

      You don't remember the Pepsi "Monk" song (Artist was Sev)? I am pretty sure there was a similar ad out at that time (several years ago). I remember reading a story that perhaps a new future was for products to support up and coming artist in exchange for them in the ads, making quasi-jingles, and what not.

      But I haven't really seen much "product support of up and coming artist" (aside from soundtracks). Guess it didn't work out too well.

    • Another service to stop using. I'd rather pay/subscribe than listen to ads (not that the same promise didn't stop ads on cable tv).

      Did this "promise" ever exist? I don't remember any cable company making such a promise, nor have I found evidence that they did. I think it's one of those urban legends that belongs on Snopes.

  • by Vertana (1094987) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @06:24AM (#26543847) Homepage

    Seriously, this is no big deal. According to the article, "On average, people will hear a 15-second commercial about every two hours, Westergren said, adding that it is a targeted ad campaign and not everyone is hearing the commercials." Other 'free' services have been doing it for ages, most notably Hulu.com. Plus I agree with the above comments... fuck country-specific services on the Internet and fuck those royalty fees. And yes... I'm looking at you the most RIAA...

  • Why advertise anything else?
    People hear music, like it, buy the CD or visit the concert.

  • by macraig (621737) <(mark.a.craig) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @06:44AM (#26543961)

    Let me tell you a fictional bedtime story, kids. Once upon a time there were these cable TV services that were popular because they had no commercials! Then, like an evil virus, commercials started slowly creeping in, so slowly people didn't notice the prick of the blade at first....

    • And the people who subscribed to cable because it was ad-free did not immediately call the cable company and cancel their service because of the ads.

  • by bytesex (112972) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @06:46AM (#26543963) Homepage

    These commercial breaks are not 'invasive'. Somebody groping you on the street on your way to work is invasive. You can still choose not to listen to web radio.

  • by Skrynkelberg (910137) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @07:28AM (#26544189)
    It plays an add every ten songs or so. For me, it is no big deal, but in case you should think so, there is also an add-free subscription option for 99 SEK ($12) a month.
    • Spotify is the dog's bollox, even in its free version. I've been sending out invites to all my friends and family. Unfortunately, the licensing conditions means it won't work in the States. I don't find the occasional ad too annoying given that every track I request is one that I WANT to hear and not some radio station's concept of what I should be listening to.

      Oh, and I'm happy to pay the BBC license fee for ad-free OTA broadcasting.
  • That's OK (Score:3, Informative)

    by rrohbeck (944847) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @07:49AM (#26544315)

    They get their ad revenue for sending them, not for you listening.
    Filtering them out can't be too hard and won't cost them. Just like AdBlock downloads the ads but doesn't display them.

  • Blame the major recording labels and their bought-and-paid-for congress-critters. This is purely the result of the major content producers'/distributors' attempts to kill off internet radio because they don't control it. This isn't about copyright, royalties, or any of that noise. It's about controlling distribution and what people see/hear. If they can't control it, they'll try everything they can to kill it.

    Also, expect many countries outside the US to eventually follow along as treaties are signed to "ha

  • They have no choice. The industry put them into such a wringer that they have no choice but to find some way to generate revenue. It sucks, but the only way to get rid of ads is to put so much pressure on the board that decides the royalties that they almost have no choice but to drop the fees, but that's not going to happen; if this ensures Pandora's survival, I'm sure they'll find another way to try to kill Pandora.

    The RIAA wants nothing less than 100% control over every distribution outlet for their cont
  • by rAiNsT0rm (877553) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @09:59AM (#26545187) Homepage

    I have been using Pandora for years and have found a few new artists by using it, and I know they have struggled to make a profit, but this is the end for me. Besides the ads they have also shortened the time you can just listen tremendously now stopping the music and popping up the "Are you still listening?" dialog every 5 minutes.

    Pandora is a company/project that could be profitable in so many creative ways but the asshats behind it seem to only know intrusive ads in one way or another. It is a classic case of tunnel vision and a complete lack of creativity and effort.

    I plan on emailing them my thoughts before just disappearing, and I'd urge anyone who uses it to do the same.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by aegis17 (1448049)
      Why the indignant rage over a free, amazing service? I've only heard one ad over the course of ~10 hours listening, and while the "are you still listening?" dialog is rather annoying, it is trivial compared to what I receive from them. If you truly dislike what they have become, why not try donating and getting a premium account? They don't offer ads, and the dialog pops up once every five hours, rather than every half hour.

      On second thought, everyone should donate; that's the only way to get around t
  • So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Accursed (563233) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @10:24AM (#26545407)
    It's their service, and they need to recoup costs for their bandwidth somehow. Really, this whole "ads are bad, everything should be free and beautiful" thing is getting old. Reality doesn't work like that.
  • I Subscribed to Pandora a while back and it was worth every penny.

    If you're listening free, then realize that it has to be subsidized by someone. That means ads.

    Do yourself a favor. Subscribe. It's really worth the money. Probably the best 36 bucks I've spent this year.

    Imag0

news: gotcha

Working...