Pandora Your Stuff – And then Measure It

Peter Gabriel has invested in a site called The Filter (for which he is the spokesperson),  which is like Pandora for your computer – it studies the music or movies you already have, and suggests other albums, artists or movies that are based on your taste.    It is available as a free download (www.thefilter.com).  The filter also acts as a partner to media companies who want to have a built in recommendation engine.  Recently NBC licensed The Filter’s technology for its own web sites  – Sony and Nokia also license it. How is The Filter different from, say, the well-touted Netflix recommendation engine, or Amazon’s?  Since it only works with digital files, it can tell whether you actually watched a full movie, or turned it off halfway through.  Originally, says Business Week, the service launched as a consumer Web site in 2008. It encouraged users to download a software application that sucked data from users’ Last.fm and Flixster accounts. It also observed what they did with their iTunes collections. Then the system took all that information and suggested movies and music. But it didn’t make any money until it started selling its services to media companies.  It should turn a profit this year.

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