, The Echo Nest to pit 80 million personalized Net radio channels against Pandora’s service

The Next Web (via Hypebot) reports is transitioning each of the 80 million user-created playlists it hosts into “smart” online radio stations. And with them, says it will offer a “Pepsi Challenge”-style listening test to compare its new recommendation service to Pandora’s artist stations.

RAIN readers may remember relaunched in July as a webcast service after telling listeners record labels “forced” it to abandon its on-demand, playlist-creating model (see our coverage here). is now working with music intelligence vendor The Echo Nest, which has taken each user playlist and created a custom radio station for it.

The service has a library of 20 million licensed songs, and offers 500 genre-based stations, in addition to the brand new playlist-generated streams.

Robert Davidorf, CEO, said, “We feel that Pandora is a little bit stagnant in [terms of features]…I think their service is not something that they’ve innovated on from a consumer standpoint very much in the past several years.”

Read more in Hypebot here and The Next Web here.

Paul Maloney