I recently started using new online music service Senzari and candidly have been pretty impressed. Billed as the new competitor to Pandora, Senzari brings a lot of eye candy, deep social networking ties to Facebook and a whopping catalogue of over 9 million songs – compared to Pandora’s 900,000. For full disclosure I know many of the execs at Pandora and am a shareholder in the company. While I really like Pandora, I must give credit where credit is due and Senzari has built a compelling product that gives me more than just the usual suspects of music recommendations – exposing more and more lesser known musicians that I’ve come to enjoy.
To some who have dismissed Senzari as another Pandora knock-off is to misunderstand what the product has to offer. In my mind, Senzari is to Pandora, what Grunge was to Rock-n-Roll. A fresh, yet irreverent take on streaming music that takes advantage of your social graph around something that is inherently personal, yet expresses who we are as people.
Clearly the company has unique opportunity to generate a kind of grassroots, youth driven listener growth curve experienced by bands such as Soundgarden, Nirvana, Mother Love Bone and Pearl Jam. However, there are a number of areas that the product still needs work on. Its use of Flash as its web player (honestly?), some broken links for content sharing (grrrr) and its lack of AirPlay functionality (duh!) top my list but there are others. However, the product is still in Beta so I’m willing to give it time to get more user feedback and work out these early kinks.
Net-net, there’s a lot to like with Senzari and the product should only get better with time. While not a real competitive threat to Pandora today, it’s clearly a platform they should watch carefully.