The popular internet radio service Pandora has been helping folks discover new music based on their preferences. The service revealed back in February during their IPO filing that it has plans to go beyond music and just celebrated a big milestone earlier this week. Today, however, it has taken its first leap into new territory and it turns out to be comedy.
Pandora's new Comedy Genome Project features sketches spanning 12 genres including Comedy Icons, Today's Comeday, Political Comedy, and Raw Comedy. The new addition brings 10,000 comedy clips from more than 700 comedians to Pandora's existing music library. Featured comedians and artists include Chris Rock, Joan Rivers, Richard Prior, George Carlin and many more.
They will use the same type of model used in their Music Genome Project, which will utilize over 100 common traits that target theme, delivery style, logic, and language. It seems to have taken the Pandora team a good amount of effort to transfer what they've learned about music analysis to that of comedy. But their efforts should pay off as it seems adding comedy to their library has been one of their top requests by users.
Pandora CEO Tim Westergren explained their decision in a blog post:
Adding comedians to the mix has been one of the top requests from our listeners, so we’ve taken the same approach to comedy as we have to music: carefully and deliberately analyzing comedic “bits” across a very large number of attributes to capture the style, delivery and content of each performance. It’s been a very fun experience, taking what we’ve learned in music and applying it to a whole new category. Now, instead of talking about “minor keys,” “falsetto,” and “extensive vamping,” our comedy-analysts capture “odd juxtaposition” (A horse walks into a bar…), “misdirection” and “spoonerisms” (a well-boiled icicle, instead of a well-oiled bicycle)…