The Filter recently secured another round of financing worth USD 5 million. Not too long ago MyStrands secured a massive USD 25 million. And today's job announcement on the music-ir mailing list sounds like BMAT has started to build their own social music recommendation web site, too. Btw, wouldn't it make sense for BMAT and MyStrands to work together? Anyway, that's just a tiny sample of all the companies working on music recommendations, some of the startups seem very promising.
There’s still a very long way to go. But with every step forward, music listeners will find it easier to discover new artists. And artists will find it easier to find an audience. (Btw, if you use Last.fm you might notice some larger steps forward in the next months.)
It's amazing how much has happened since 2001 (when I finished my Master thesis on a related topic). It’s fun to be working in such a dynamic environment. And it's never been easier to discover amazing music.