Pandora buys analytics company to get more out of your streaming data

In order to serve up its song suggestions, Pandora collects listener data based on those thumbs up and thumbs down votes you tap in. The music streaming option announced today that it acquired Next Big Sound: an analytics company that will help turn that data into valuable marketing (read: ad) fuel. Next Big Sound offers the tools to properly break all of that user info down -- especially in regards to social media chatter -- for artists, labels and others. You may not have heard of Next Big Sound, but you may have seen its work: the company provides the stats for Billboard's charts, including the Social 50. Pandora already had its own tools for artists to examine user data, and now it joins the likes of Spotify and Apple by bringing in outside help to make its stockpile of info more useful. If you'll recall, Spotify swiped Echo Nest last year, a company that uses music analysis to power radio options for Rdio and others -- similar to Pandora's Music Genome Project.