Automate This

Savage Beast, a 1990s startup that paid hundreds of musicians to listen to songs and classify them according to some 400 musical attributes, including rhythm, tonality, and much more. Savage Beast tried without luck to sell its music recommendation service to music retailers like Tower Records and Best Buy (BBY). The company barely survived the 2000 dotcom bust and was on life support by 2005, when it started to produce music recommendations using algorithms instead of live musicians.

Along the way, Savage Beast changed its name to Pandora (P). In 2011 it went public with a $3 billion valuation.

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