Pandora vs Last.fm (continued)

Last week, I walked into Jessica’s room to see how she was doing on her homework and she said, "dad, check this out". So I looked on her screen and she was listening to Pandora while she was doing her homework. She had three channels; The Shout Out Louds, The Shins, and Belle and Sebastian. She was digging it.

I said, "check out last.fm and tell me what you think". She was doing fine with her homework, so I left her alone to finish it.

This weekend, we got out to our beach house where we listen to Rhapsody, Hype Machine, and a bunch of other web music services a lot. So Jessica turned on the computer that is connected to our stereo and went to last.fm and played Belle and Sebastian "similar artist" radio.

So I asked Jessica "what about Pandora?". She said "they are both good, but last.fm is a little better". I explained to her that Pandora uses "music genomes" that are then processed by a computer to come up with its recommendations. Whereas last.fm simply looks at what people listen to and makes its recommendations based on "people who like this like that". She got it immediately.

Jessica and I are not the only ones who think last.fm is better than pandora. These are the Comscore worldwide numbers for both services:

Pandora_vs_lastfm

Clearly the social, people powered approach of last.fm is more popular. No surprise there. I would note that according to Comscore last.fm has 5-6mm unique visitors worldwide per month, a far cry from the 15 million that was mentioned in this Techcrunch piece. I think last.fm is suffering from some of the same issues that Digg is suffering from in using their internal weblog numbers.

Lastfm_flash_player_1Regardless of whether it is 5mm uniques a month or 15mm uniques a month, it’s clear that last.fm is a big success. I love it and use it all the time. The new flash player is a vast improvement over the client and I like similar artist radio a lot although I still prefer neighbor radio and recommended radio the best.

But it’s also the social networking features of last.fm that make it a superior service. Last.fm started off as a social network and evovled into a streaming music service. Pandora took the opposite approach. And it shows.

I am fredwilson at last.fm. If you are a last.fm user,let’s connect and share music .