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Pandora

The days of listening to radio to find new artists started to sunset in 2000. The automated music recommendation service of Pandora,P,let people explore beyond the playlists of Clear Channel, CCO,and other conglomerates and find artists they might not otherwise know about. That quickly led to similar companies, such as Spotify and Rhapsody. Today, the service has nearly 55 million users and boasts a market capitalization of some $1.6 billion.

"Pandora was among the first companies to usher in this free streaming music craze and hasten the decline of the full priced package record or CD product. The sheer convenience and genius of the software and its ability to provide high quality content and predict the songs and artists listeners wanted to hear helped make it a household and mobile stable," said Scott Steinberg, tech futurist and author of "Becoming Official."

Photo: Victor J. Blue | Bloomberg | Getty Images