Inside Pandora Comedy: Three Years In, the Promise and Limits of Streaming Comedy Radio

“Before I started working here, I didn’t realize there was an entire genre of comedy marketed specifically to truckers,” says Kelly Anneken, comedy curator at Pandora Internet Radio. “Not my cup of tea, comedically, but these guys are everywhere.”

If you’ve never heard of trucker comedy either, don’t worry: you’re not alone. Discovering the charms (or lack thereof) of a new kind of humor is at the heart of Pandora’s comedy mission. The station was launched on May 5, 2011, and over the last three years the online streaming and recommendation service, which famously uses its Music Genome Project to create custom stations for listeners, has continued delving ever-deeper into the pool of recorded comedy.

In doing so, Pandora has potentially engineered a unique way for standup fans, both expert and novice, to discover new performers, as well as giving newer comics the opportunity to be heard side-by-side with established ones. The company has also bet a lot of its time and money on the fact that the system works as well with comedy as it does with music. But three years into the experiment, is Pandora Comedy working? READ MORE