Will Pandora Fall With Startup Senzari?

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Pandora has two major drawbacks: a small music catalog and it’s only available in the U.S.  A catalog of 900,000 songs to choose from is nothing to balk at, but in today’s connected world of on-demand content, it’s a tiny drop in the bucket.  Add to that the inter-connected world we live in now and you see limitations to Pandora that make it.. well, less desirable.

Other music services like Spotify have been gaining ground quickly, but there is a large market segment that it doesn’t appeal to: music listeners who aren’t interested in surfing.  Many popular music platforms require you to actively choose music, surf your friend’s playlists, and otherwise use the service itself.

Many listeners are more interested in a radio-like experience of hands-off listening where you choose a “channel” and just listen.  Pandora has survived in today’s breakneck world of music streaming almost entirely because it’s one of the few services offering this.  Choose “rock” and that’s what you get, for as long as you want to listen.

Senzari does the same thing, offering what CEO Bill Hajjar calls a “lean back” experience.  You choose a genre of music or load in your own music catalog and Senzari finds similar music – and that of your friends, if they’re connected – to create on-the-fly playlists that you listen to without doing anything but listen.

The music app just drew in $2 million in angel funding and has already shown it can beat Pandora at the content and distribution game.  Senzari is licensed as an Internet radio station in three countries (U.S., Brazil, Spain) and has a strategic partnership with RED Viacom.

Plus it’s got a music catalog of over 10 million songs.  More than ten times what Pandora can offer.

Senzari is currently in closed beta in the U.S. and will open in Spain sometime this month.  Brazil will see it early next year.


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