Tim Westergren, a former jazz musician and film composer, founded the online radio station Pandora in 2000. Tim brought together a team of musicologists to analyze and classify hundreds of thousands of songs based on some 400 attributes. This project, called the Music Genome Project, is the backbone of Pandora. Pandora works like this: a user enters a song or artist, and Pandora plays songs that most resemble that entry. The company became profitable for the first time ten years after launch, and Pandora has become increasingly popular thanks, in part, to its availability as an app on Apple’s iPhone.
Jessica speaks with Tim about his previous musical career and how a small startup blossomed into the most well-known internet radio site, from scratch.