What you listened to in 2014…

As 2014 comes to a close, we wanted to take a look back and see what music you listened to most this year. Let’s start by saying you listen to a lot of music – on average, 20 hours each month.

So, what songs spun the most? Your tastes run the gamut, from Sam Smith‘s top spinning song “Stay With Me” to a few selections from the Frozen soundtrack and many more in between.

Check out the Top 25 Most Spun Songs below (based on songs added to Pandora in 2014):

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Hitting Refresh: An Update to our UI

In order to achieve our company vision of unleashing the infinite power of music, we are continually innovating and iterating. We constantly evolve both our technology and design to provide the best music platform for listeners, advertisers and artists.

Today, I’m very excited to unveil our latest innovation, the beta release of Pandora’s Station Personalisation interface on iOS and Android. The design of this latest update is part of our ongoing dedication to innovate the UX and UI across platforms, and as a result, provide effortless music discovery and listening for more than 75 million listeners each month.


Read More →

Hitting Refresh: An Update to our UI

In order to achieve our company purpose of unleashing the infinite power of music, we are continually innovating and iterating. We constantly evolve both our technology and design to provide the best music platform for listeners, advertisers and artists.

Today, I’m very excited to unveil our latest innovation, the beta release of Pandora’s Station Personalization interface on iOS and Android (http://pdora.co/1ybSTY4). The design of this latest update is part of our ongoing dedication to innovate the UX and UI across platforms, and as a result, provide effortless music discovery and listening for more than 75 million listeners each month.

Read More →

You Thumbed, Nick Jonas Answered

nick jonasBy now you may be familiar with Thumb Moments – with a single thumb, listeners have enjoyed one-on-one shows with Lindsey Stirling, Matt Nathanson and Bush over the past few weeks.  With each one, there has been a mix of laughing, crying, singing and sometimes screaming, but with our latest Thumb Moment artist, listeners just couldn’t help but dance.

This time around, Nick Jonas surprised 12 listeners with a personal phone call and private performance of his new single “Jealous” off of his upcoming debut album, which proved to be the perfect choice for encouraging his fans to join him as backup dancers. His fans have some serious moves; check out the video below to see for yourself.

We’re not done quite yet – maybe your favorite artist is next.  So stay tuned for more and keep sharing your ultimate “Thumb Moments” with us – use #ThumbMoments via social or in the comments below.

You Thumbed, Matt Nathanson Answered

mattSince launching our Thumb Moments series in September, we have seen fans of Lindsey Stirling and Bush laugh, cry and cheer as they took a front row seat for a one-on-one concert experience courtesy of one of their favorite artists.

Marking our third installment with Matt Nathanson, he surprised his fans with a private performance of his new single “Headphones.” Listeners were encouraged by Matt to truly become a part of the show. Eleven callers chatted, sang backup vocals, danced… some even provided musical accompaniment, ranging from a guitar to a couple spoons. Watch the show and see the fun for yourself.

Stay tuned for more and keep sharing your ultimate “Thumb Moments” with us – use #ThumbMoments via social or in the comments below.

You Thumbed, Bush Answered

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bushLast month we shared the launch of our Thumb Moments campaign with our first artist, Lindsey Stirling. Within moments of thumbing up a Lindsey Stirling song, a few listeners were surprised with a totally live, one-on-one concert via video chat by Lindsey herself.

As promised, we are back with more and this time, Bush joined in on the fun, surprising listeners across the US (seriously – callers spanned Hawaii to Florida) with a series of intimate, one-on-one mini concerts. Callers literally became a part of the experience – their images created the backdrop while Bush performed an exclusive acoustic version of their new single “The Only Way Out.”

As you might imagine, these fans were pretty excited.  See for yourself:

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Inside Song: The Enduring Appeal Of A Sad Song

Some years ago, I went through a low period as a long-term relationship came to an end. I was living in a tiny apartment in Paris, a city where I knew only one other person. I was broke, of course. It was winter, and my music–the whole reason I’d moved to Paris–was going nowhere. I subsisted on espresso and Gauloises cigarettes, long walks around the freezing, empty city, and Radiohead’s Kid A and OK Computer. Cliché, I’m aware, but forgive me. I was young.

photoMy point, however, is that rather than seeking out some positive, inspiring music that could have helped shake me out of my gloom, I gravitated toward the saddest sounds I could fill my head with. And I know I’m not alone in this behavior.

There’s something about sad songs that holds a strong appeal for us as listeners. The pining vocals, the grand weeping sweep of strings, the dark shadow of the minor key and shattered glass spill of acoustic piano, they scratch some itch deep inside that the bounce and whirl of a chipper ditty can’t reach. Read More →

What if a thumb could instantly bring you face to face with your favorite artist?

Imagine thumbing up a song from your favorite artist and moments later finding yourself face to face with them for a private concert. Sounds impossible, right? Well this is exactly what just happened for some Pandora listeners.

At Pandora, we constantly strive to create magic moments for our listeners by connecting them to the right music at the right time.  Today, we want to share a new Pandora program that takes this connection to the next level.  Within moments of thumbing up a song, we are surprising a few listeners by literally connecting them to the artist for a totally live, one-on-one concert via video chat. Read More →

Inside Song: Mixing It Up

A few years ago, after I completed a large, exhausting album, I stepped back and tried to get some perspective on my own work. By observing my own process, it occurred to me that I’d fallen into a pattern of how I wrote songs. It was almost always lyrics with a hint of melody first, followed by chords, and ending with the arrangement, orchestration, engineering and studio production. I felt, however, upon finishing that big album, that I’d played out the possibilities of that particular approach and more or less knew what would happen if I set out to write more songs in that same way. So I determined the songwriting element I usually focused on least of all – rhythm – and decided that for my next project, I would start there.

Collaborating with a percussionist, I built rhythm tracks and wrote music to accompany the beats, recording and producing as I went, essentially composing straight to tape. The very last thing I did was add lyrics. I effectively inverted my songwriting process and came up with extremely different sounding material. Even the types of words I used changed – fewer syllables, less ornate or metaphoric language – since they occupied such a different place in the creative process than they had before. The music I wound up making was something I never imagined I had in me.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 10.51.35 AMSongwriters often vary the types of songs they create and broaden their spectrum as songwriters, simply by varying their creative process. Bob Dylan famously headed down to Nashville and worked with a completely new group of musicians to come up with Nashville Skyline. The Talking Heads sought to break down the perceived relationship of David Byrne as frontman supported by a backing band. They experimented with new techniques and expanded instrumentation to create what many consider their best album, Remain in Light. Paul Simon first split with his writing partner, Art Garfunkel, to alter his sound, then later travelled to South Africa seeking new sounds and different creative approaches to write the wildly successful album Graceland. Read More →

Pandora for Glass: from Hack-a-thon to Explorer Edition

Twice a year, in the spring and in the fall, everyone in the technology organization here at Pandora puts our day jobs on hold and comes together for a Hack-a-thon.  The 72-hour event culminates with employees gathering around (with keg beer) to watch each team demo their hack. Winners are awarded for Best Demo, Most Creative Idea, Best Improvement to Pandora and Best Project Not Related to Pandora.

During the Hack-a-thon this spring, one team developed a hack for Pandora on Glass. It was such a hit that we decided to show it to Google, and we’re excited to announce today’s launch of Pandora for Glass.

Pandora_GoogleGlass_Mock_FINAL_NowPlaying

Glass is smart eyewear: A lightweight frame and tiny display that rests neatly above your eyes that makes exploring and sharing the world around you faster and easier. Read More →