Pandora


'Pandora' Articles

Pandora Announces Personalized Podcast Curation With the 'Podcast Genome Project'

Following its acquisition by SiriusXM in September, Pandora today announced that it will begin offering specialized podcast curation under the Podcast Genome Project. Similar to its Music Genome Project, the PGP will launch in a public beta format and combine human curation with advanced machine learning to offer users specific podcast recommendations, "down to the episodic level." Pandora says that the Podcast Genome Project will evaluate content based on more than 1,500 attributes like MPAA ratings, timely topics, production style, content type, host profile, and combine this with listener signals like thumb ratings, skips, and replays. Machine learning algorithms, natural language processing, and collaborative filtering methods will also work in tandem with Pandora's in-house curation team to give each user unique podcast recommendations that evolve as their preferences change. “It might feel like podcasts are ubiquitous, but, eighty-three percent of Americans aren’t yet listening to podcasts on a weekly basis, and a majority of them report that’s because they simply don’t know where to start,” said Roger Lynch, Chief Executive Officer, Pandora. “Making podcasts - both individual episodes and series - easy to discover and simple to experience is how we plan to greatly grow podcast listening while simultaneously creating new and more sustainable ways to monetize them.” Pandora's podcast partners include PM, Gimlet, HeadGum, Libsyn, Maximum Fun, NPR, Parcast, PRX+PRI, reVolver, Slate, The New York Times, The Ramsey Network, The Ringer, WNYC Studios, and Wondery. The

SiriusXM to Acquire Pandora for $3.5 Billion

SiriusXM today announced that it will acquire Pandora for $3.5 billion in an all-stock transaction, creating "the world's largest audio entertainment company," according to Pandora's press release on the news. The transaction has been unanimously approved by both the independent directors of Pandora and by the board of directors of SiriusXM, and is now expected to close in Q1 2019. The companies explain that through the acquisition SiriusXM will use Pandora's platform to "significantly expand" its presence beyond vehicles, and into the user's home and smartphone devices. Still, it's promised that there will be no immediate change in listener offerings after the acquisition is completed. Both CEOs of SiriusXM and Pandora commented on the announcement: Jim Meyer, Chief Executive Officer of SiriusXM, said, "We have long respected Pandora and their team for their popular consumer offering that has attracted a massive audience, and have been impressed by Pandora's strategic progress and stronger execution. We believe there are significant opportunities to create value for both companies' stockholders by combining our complementary businesses. The addition of Pandora diversifies SiriusXM's revenue streams with the U.S.'s largest ad-supported audio offering, broadens our technical capabilities, and represents an exciting next step in our efforts to expand our reach out of the car even further. Through targeted investments, we see significant opportunities to drive innovation that will accelerate growth beyond what would be available to the separate companies, and does so

Pandora Rolling Out Personalized Playlists to All Premium Subscribers on Mobile App

After a slow rollout began in March, Pandora today announced that all Premium tier subscribers can now access their own personalized music playlists. Similar to Apple Music and Spotify, Pandora's selection of playlists personally curate a specific collection of tracks, but Pandora focuses on moods, activities, and genres (via TechCrunch). For example, Pandora can create "Your Energy Soundtrack," "Your Happy Soundtrack," "Your Rainy Day Soundtrack," "Your R&B Soundtrack," and more, with about 25 songs each. As a comparison, Apple Music's personal curation focuses on New Music Mix, Chill Mix, and Favorites Mix, offering songs aimed at introducing you to new artists, serving up relaxing tunes, and generating a collection of what the service decides are your favorite tracks. Image via TechCrunch Pandora Premium users can send links to their friends (even if they're on the free tier) as a way to share their personalized playlists. The free tier users will have to watch a video ad to listen to the playlist and test out other paid features as well -- an ability Pandora debuted last December. In regards to how the app curates the playlists, Pandora says it uses its "Music Genome" and machine learning algorithms to continously determine what music you listen to most often. Combined with human curators, Pandora then gathers songs into the new "Soundtrack" playlists to "perfect the lists and update them, as needed." Apple Music updates its Mixes on specific days every week, but Pandora's offering appears to be a bit more nebulous. During the rollout phase of the feature,

Pandora Grants Free Tier Listeners Access to On-Demand Features if They View 15-Second Ad

Pandora today announced that it will now let those who use the company's free, ad-supported tier access on-demand listening after viewing a 15-second video ad. Listeners can search for a specific song, album, playlist, and then they'll have an option to view the ad in question, after which a Pandora Premium listening session will unlock. Previously, users on Pandora's free tier had to listen to whatever song appeared next on the radio station or playlist they were currently tuned in to. With the new update, these listeners can now get an experience that's slightly closer to traditional on-demand streaming music services like Pandora's own Premium service, and Apple Music and Spotify, albeit after being forced to view an ad. Crucially, Pandora's press release doesn't clarify how often free listeners have to view these 15-second ads in order to retain their Pandora Premium on-demand listening sessions. “Our ad-supported listeners’ top request has consistently been the ability to directly play the specific songs, albums, or playlists they want,” said Roger Lynch, President & CEO, Pandora. “These new features address that need by marrying rewards-based advertising with the best-in-class on-demand experience we’ve created with Pandora Premium. This unrivaled experience will drive listeners to Pandora and drive awareness for Premium, while also creating new opportunities for artists, labels, publishers and advertisers.” Pandora Premium launched earlier in 2017, combining the existing radio features with a new on-demand service that serves up personalized recommendations

Pandora Ending Operations in New Zealand and Australia as CEO Steps Down

Popular streaming radio service Pandora plans to stop offering its service in New Zealand and Australia, a spokesperson told Billboard this afternoon. Australia and New Zealand are currently the only non-U.S. locations where the company operates, and Pandora has decided to focus its business solely on the United States.A Pandora spokesperson told Billboard that after much analysis, it was decided to discontinue operations in the two countries over the next few weeks. "While our experience in these markets reinforces the broader global opportunity long-term, in the short-term we must remain laser-focused on the expansion of our core business in the United States," the rep said.Pandora plans to begin shutting down operations in the two countries over the course of the next few weeks, which means its international offices in those locations will be shuttered. Pandora has somewhere around 5 million listeners in Australia and New Zealand, and it employs approximately 60 people at its offices in Australia. As Pandora prepares to pull out of Australia and New Zealand, Pandora founder Tim Westergren today stepped down from his position as CEO, also exiting the company's board of directors. Pandora president Mike Herring and CMO Nick Bartle are also leaving the company. In a statement, Westergren, who has twice left his role as CEO over the years, said Pandora is "perfectly poised for its next chapter." Under his leadership, Pandora launched its "Pandora Premium" on-demand streaming service and got a major investment from SiriusXM.Westergren said, "I am incredibly proud of

SiriusXM Again Having 'Active Discussions' to Acquire Pandora

Broadcasting company SiriusXM Satellite Radio is having "active discussions" about the potential acquisition of internet radio company Pandora, after previously showing interest in bidding for Pandora last year. After those talks stalled, The New York Post is now reporting that SiriusXM is reigniting its interest in Pandora, which would grant the company access to Pandora's online radio service and the just-launched on-demand "Premium" streaming service. Pandora Premium itself is the result of the company's acquisition of key assets and employees who worked for Rdio, which Pandora acquired in 2015. The $9.99/month service is a competitor to Apple Music and Spotify, giving listeners access to a large on-demand library, playlist creation, unlimited skips, and no ads, unlike Pandora's base radio service. Pandora's new on-demand service, Pandora Premium Liberty Media-backed SiriusXM is in active discussions about making a bid for internet radio company Pandora, The Post has learned. The New York satellite radio company, which has exhibited on-and-off interest in the struggling streamer, has recently restarted talks with Pandora’s banks and is discussing the size of a potential offer, sources said. According to Goldman Sachs analyst Heath Terry, the music industry is currently focused on the "increasingly competitive environment in streaming music," so SiriusXM might be interested in acquiring Pandora to help beef up its Premium streaming service and compete more directly with Apple Music and Sirius, which are both above 20 million and 50 million paid subscribers,

Pandora Previews Apple Music and Spotify Competitor 'Premium'

Pandora previewed its long-awaited Apple Music and Spotify competitor today at a special event with select publications. The new service is called Pandora Premium, and will launch in early 2017 with a likely price of $9.99 per month, reports Engadget. The new app offers on-demand access to a large music library and looks a lot like Rdio. In November, Pandora announced that it had acquired "key assets" and employees from Rdio. Like other services, Pandora Premium will also allow users to save music offline and experience ad-free listening, reports The Verge. Pandora CEO Tim Westergen thinks the company has created the "first truly premium music service." For Pandora, a premium music service means a personal music service, and the company hopes to leverage its trove of listening data and the Music Genome Project to offer each customer a personalized music service. For instance, Pandora Premium features personalized search, which means each user will get different music results based on their listening history rather than overall popularity. The browse and new release sections of the app will also be personalized based on user taste. Smart playlists will allow users to easily add new songs with a touch of a button, and in some cases Pandora will automatically add songs for you. The app will also change color based on the album artwork of the song you're currently listening to, and every song you like will be added to a giant playlist made up of every song you've ever liked on Pandora. When a user has reached the end of a playlist or album, Pandora Premium will

Pandora Redesigns Website With New UI and Premium Playback Features for Pandora Plus Listeners

Pandora today began the rollout of a "completely overhauled" desktop site for its streaming radio service, coming on the heels of its rebranded iOS and Android apps last month. Pandora.com now has a couple of new features including an enhanced user interface and new additions for Pandora Plus listeners, which should begin appearing throughout the day as the rollout continues. The changes begin with the music player on Pandora's web platform, which is now a fixed bar at the bottom of the screen, ensuring that users will "never lose sight" of the currently playing track. Because of this shift, album artwork is at the center of the screen and provides prompts to artist information like tour dates, lyrics, bios, and more. The flat blue aesthetics of the site also now closely mirror that of the company's mobile app and its logo. Pandora has also streamlined a few navigation features when users create and organize stations, look at their favorite tracks, and use playback controls. The company said that "the updated features across the platform allow you to easily control your listening experience." Listeners on Pandora Plus can use the replay button to restart a song from the beginning, or even jump back in the current listening session and find an old track to replay. A skip option will also let them get to the next song quicker, as well. The ad-supported version of Pandora on the web supports these features too, but in a limited capacity. Whenever users on the free tier run out of skips or want to listen to a track again, the company said that they can "watch a

Pandora Rebrands Mobile App Ahead of On-Demand Music Service Launch

Online radio service Pandora today announced a rebranding of its iOS and Android apps, complete with a new logo that includes a "vibrant and bold color scheme" that the company says will showcase "the next phase of the product and the music experiences Pandora brings you." The app's icon has transitioned from a gray background with a navy blue "P" to an all-white background a lighter, bolder "P." It's also shifted from an uppercase to a lowercase font choice for "Pandora." The old Pandora logo (left) and the new one (right) The company's aim with the updated brand scheme is to introduce an aesthetic that "embraces the dynamic range of sound and color," so the logo can adapt to any musician, song, or genre available on Pandora. The new P icon is said to serve as the user's "portal" into the streaming radio service and its new ad-free subscription service Pandora Plus. Pandora also created a video to showcase its new brand. Music is a personal experience for everyone, from the artists creating it all the way to the fans listening to it. And as Pandora continues to evolve the most personal music experience, our new look embraces the dynamic range of sound and color, visualizing the energy and emotion that artists pour into the creation of music, and that we feel as listeners. Our dynamic brand is composed of form, color and pattern, which we implemented into the new P icon and serves as your portal into the unique and diverse range of music you love. The rebranding comes ahead of Pandora's impending on-demand music listening service, which CEO Tim Westergren has confi

Pandora Confirms its Apple Music Competitor Launches Later This Year

Pandora has introduced Pandora Plus, a new ad-free subscription service that builds upon Pandora One with unlimited song skips and replays and a new predictive offline mode for $4.99 per month. Meanwhile, users of its existing ad-supported tier will gain the ability to skip more songs and replay songs by watching video ads. The new predictive offline mode automatically detects when you lose your data connection and switches to one of your top stations. The Verge explained the feature in more detail:Pandora says it will automatically save your thumbprint radio station as well as your three most recently listened to stations in case you lose your connection or request offline listening. The app will automatically determine which of the four stations to switch to based on your recent listening, and when your signal drops, it will alert you with an audio message acknowledging that your connection has been lost and that it will switch to an offline station.Pandora CEO Tim Westergren also confirmed it will launch an on-demand option "later this year" to compete with the likes of Apple Music and Spotify.“We’re methodically and passionately developing the world’s most personal music experience,” said Tim Westergren, founder and CEO at Pandora. “And that includes flexibility in how you listen and what you pay for it. Whether a listener wants to take advantage of our enhanced ad-supported experience, our groundbreaking subscription radio service, or our fully interactive on-demand option coming later this year, we have a solution tailored for you at a price point

Amazon and Pandora Each Nearly Ready to Launch Apple Music Rivals

Amazon and Pandora are closing in on licensing agreements with the world's largest record labels to launch their own streaming music services later this year, reports Financial Times. Both subscription-based services are expected to cost $9.99 per month, a price that has become the industry standard, and compete with heavyweights like Apple Music and Spotify. Amazon's offering could launch as early as September, according to the report, while Pandora is said to be making progress towards debuting its service later this year. Reuters first reported Amazon's plans to launch a standalone streaming music service in June, followed by a Recode report last week claiming the online retailer is also working on a $5-a-month subscription music service that will be exclusive to owners of the company's internet-connected Echo speaker. Amazon currently sells individual songs or albums through Amazon Music, while Amazon Prime subscribers can stream Amazon music, playlists, and radio stations for free, but the selection is limited compared to Apple Music and Spotify. Pandora's ambitions to launch its own subscription music service, likely based on its acquisition of "key assets" from Rdio in 2015, were first reported by The Wall Street Journal earlier this month. The company plans to offer two price tiers by also slightly tweaking its existing $5 per month ad-free option with select new perks like skipping songs and offline listening, the report said. Pandora currently offers customers in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand the ability to listen to free, ad-supported

Pandora Set to Introduce Two New On-Demand Paid Subscription Tiers

Streaming radio service Pandora is getting ready to introduce two new on-demand paid subscription tiers, in addition to keeping its popular free option available, according to people familiar with the matter speaking with The Wall Street Journal. The company is said to be "close to inking deals" with some major record companies that will let it expand the two new tiers in both the United States and some markets overseas. The most expensive subscription is said to be $10 per month and grant users unlimited access to tens of millions of songs on Pandora, bringing the internet radio streaming service closer to that of Spotify and Apple Music. The company will then slightly tweak its existing $5 per month ad-free option with a few new perks like skipping songs, offline listening, and more. While competing with the likes of Spotify, Apple and other $10-a-month service providers may be difficult, some music-industry executives believe that Pandora’s planned $5-a-month tier presents a bigger opportunity for the business, potentially unlocking new revenue from consumers who want a bit more control over their listening experience but wouldn’t pay $10 a month. First launched in 2000, Pandora has never had to get individual permission from record labels to play their music since its services offer only randomized, radio-like "stations" that prevent users from playing specific songs. Since its new model will add these on-demand listening features for its users, Pandora now has to partner with various record labels in addition to the broad internet radio licensing fees it

Rdio to Officially Shut Down on December 22, Will Allow Users to Download Collection Archive

Last month Pandora announced that it acquired "key assets" and employees from Rdio for $75 million. Tonight, Rdio began emailing its users to let them know that it would officially shut down on December 22, 2015 at 5 p.m. PST. Rdio will also let its former subscribers download an archive of their favorite music and playlists in various formats so that they can import them into their new music streaming service of choice. The service also created a timeline that allows users to see their "life on Rdio", including a user's most played song and album and the first playlist they created. The streaming service also shared its own timeline. Rdio revealed that its first subscriber signed up on August 3, 2010, that the first played song was Katy Perry's "California Girls", the most played album was Drake's "Nothing Was The Same", the most played song was Bruno Mars' "When I Was Your Man", the most popular playlist was Dave Novak's "1000 (April 2015)" and the company's favorite comment was "Very touching tribute to turning things down for reasons we forget," regarding DJ Snake and Lil Jon's "Turn Down For What." On its export page, Rdio says the files it's allowing users to download are metadata that'll make it easier for users to restore their collections in their next music streaming service. It also points users to Soundiiz and StAMP, two services that allow users to directly transfer their collections to their next music streaming service. Finally, Rdio warns that it doesn't know when its exporting website will go down, so users should download their collections as

Pandora Launches App for the New Apple TV

Popular streaming music service Pandora has launched an app for the new fourth-generation Apple TV, allowing Pandora listeners to play their favorite music and radio stations on their television sets. On the Apple TV, the Pandora app has a simple, streamlined interface with sections for managing existing stations, creating new stations and accessing account options, along with a "Now Playing" section that displays the station a user is listening to. Throughout the Pandora app, songs and stations are accompanied by large album artwork for quick browsing, and there are built-in controls for skipping a song and liking or disliking a song. In the Now Playing section, each song is listed with an album title, artist name, and cover art. Pandora, which recently acquired assets and employees from competing streaming service Rdio, is one of the most popular streaming music services and a major Apple Music competitor. Unlike Apple Music, Pandora is an ad-supported station-based streaming music service that allows customers to listen for free. Pandora also offers a subscription option that removes advertisements and gives users more "skips" to bypass undesirable songs. The free Pandora app can be downloaded on the Apple TV by searching for it in the tvOS App Store. If you own the Pandora app for iOS, it will be listed in the purchased

Pandora Acquires 'Key Assets' and Employees From Rdio for $75 Million

Two of the biggest Apple Music competitors and most notable names in the streaming music industry are joining forces, with Pandora today announcing its $75 million acquisition of "key assets" from Rdio. According to a press release on the acquisition, Pandora has gained unspecified "technology and intellectual property," and a number of Rdio's employees will be given roles at Pandora. Pandora plans to use Rdio's assets to "offer fans greater control over the music they love," with an expanded Pandora listening experience set to launch in late 2016, depending on licensing. Pandora wants to become the "go-to destination" for wherever and however its fans want to listen to music. "The Rdio team built an acclaimed product and technology platform that has consistently led innovation in the young streaming industry. I'm pleased that many members of the Rdio team will continue to shape the future of streaming music, applying our tradition of great design and innovative engineering on an even larger stage with Pandora," said Anthony Bay, chief executive officer of Rdio.Pandora has more than 80 million users and continues to be one of the most popular streaming music services. Pandora offers its users the ability to listen to free, ad-supported radio stations centered around particular artists or songs rather than offering on-demand listening like Apple Music. Rdio offered a similar ad-supported free listening tier, but it also included Rdio Unlimited, a service that let users listen to any song on demand as is possible with Spotify and Apple Music. With its acquisition of

Nearly Half of Apple Music Users in U.S. No Longer Using Free Trial

A new study by consumer research firm MusicWatch finds that 77% of iOS users in the United States are aware of Apple Music, with 11% currently using the streaming music service. Additionally, among those that signed up for Apple Music's three-month trial, 48% said they are no longer using the service and 61% reported they have turned off the auto-renewal subscription option in iTunes. Apple Music has attracted more users from Spotify Premium than ad-supported services such as Spotify Free and Pandora:More than one quarter (28 percent) of Spotify Premium customers also use Apple Music, but the draw from popular ad-supported services is more modest: Just 11 percent of Spotify Free users, and 6 percent of Pandora users, now use Apple’s offering. “In terms of benchmarking Apple Music, 40 percent of iOS users are buying digital downloads from iTunes, suggesting trial of Apple Music could be higher,” said Russ Crupnick, managing partner of MusicWatch. “That’s the disadvantage of not being the first mover in a market where very good services currently exist.”While nearly half of iOS users that have tried Apple Music are no longer using the service, with some maintaining their loyalty to Spotify, Pandora and other rivals, the study finds that 64% of current users said they were "extremely" or "very likely" to pay for an Apple Music subscription following the free trial period, which concludes on September 30 for those that signed up on launch day. The research study also claims that 30% of Apple Music users listen to Beats 1, while 27% use Apple Music Connect.

Pandora CFO Calls Apple a 'Frenemy,' Says Music Service is Coming to CarPlay and Apple Watch

When Apple's CarPlay feature launched last year, Apple partnered with several music services to offer a variety of listening choices on the platform, including Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Rdio, and more. Noticeably absent from CarPlay was Pandora, but that appears to be set to change. Pandora CFO Mike Herring spoke to Fox Business Network yesterday and said Pandora will "definitely be in CarPlay" and integrated into the Apple Watch as well. Though Herring did not provide a timeline for the possible launch of a Pandora CarPlay app, his statement to Fox is the closest Pandora's come to revealing its plans for the platform. Last year, Pandora told MacRumors that Apple was a valued partner and though it did not have a CarPlay offering at the current time, it was exploring opportunities to expand its presence in the car in the future. Speaking to Fox, Herring also spilled some details on Pandora's relationship with Apple, which hints at why there may have been a delay getting Pandora on CarPlay. According to Herring, the two companies have a "frenemy kind of relationship," possibly due to the similarities between Pandora and Apple's iTunes Radio. Pandora, which owes part of its success to the popularity of its iPhone app, has a "frenemy kind of relationship going on" with Apple, according to Herring. "We were part of what made it fun to have an iPhone," Herring added. While the two companies are "close partners," it is a "very interesting relationship."At the current time, there are still only a handful of CarPlay apps available, like Spotify, Beats Music, CBS