Had things gone a little differently, we might be talking about Pandora in the past tense, as in the online music service that used to serve up streaming songs before it went belly up. Instead, the future's finally starting to look bright for Pandora.
"In the last year, I feel like we've finally cracked the nut on how to effectively monetize a streaming radio service," says Pandora founder Tim Westergren. "Out intention is to build a radio business that looks a lot like the traditional radio business, with a scalable mechanism for selling national and local advertising so we can do everything from big, branded national campaigns to local pizza joint specials. They can be delivered as graphic ads, as audio ads, as video ads. We're pitching big ad agencies who have historically bought broadcast radio and pitching them to shift that money to the Web."
That's quite the turnaround for Pandora, which is about to record 60 million register users and posted its first profitable quarter at the end of 2009. Prior to that, Pandora looked like it wouldn't be in this for the long haul, and at one point it even asked its employees to work without pay for nearly two years. Contrast that with the hiring of 70 more workers last year, with plans to add 70 more this year.
A whole lot more on the current state of Pandora (and where it's headed) right here .