The Pandora Brand: Let There Be Music

With today’s release of Pandora 5.0 on iOS devices, you will see some refinements to our logo, our app icon, and our visual design. These changes will also be available soon on our website and Android devices. I wanted to take a moment to share the thinking that led to these changes.

When I joined Pandora as its first CMO, I was drawn to the company for a singular reason: it has a clear mission. The principle that drove Tim to start the Music Genome Project in 1999 – to help people enjoy and discover music they love while connecting working artists with new fans – remains the central mission of Pandora today.

Now, almost two years later, I know first hand the commitment and pride of the people who work at Pandora. Our listener support team personally answers each of the tens of thousands of emails we receive each month, usually the same day.  Professional musicians and musicologists spend up to an hour meticulously analyzing each song that goes into the Music Genome Project in order to make better recommendations. Curators, music programmers, data scientists and engineers work together to solve the challenge of making better musical connections for each and every listener.
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Happy Birthday to the Pandora App

Today marks the 5-year anniversary of the iPhone App Store and the launch of our iPhone app. Since our launch on the web in 2005, we have always been keenly aware that, in order to truly redefine radio, we would need to break Pandora free from the PC. That tipping point came on July 10, 2008, when the Pandora app debuted during the iPhone App Store launch. The result was beyond our greatest hopes and expectations: Pandora’s growth virtually doubled overnight. We watched in amazement as millions of people downloaded Pandora onto their iPhones and Pandora was transformed from an at-work, desktop experience into an anytime, anywhere, ubiquitous phenomenon.

Pandora immediately became a must-have app. Even today it continues to be one of the most-downloaded and most-used apps around.

Behind the Pandora mobile app is a team of engineers who maintain and improve the app for a variety of smartphone platforms every day. One of these engineers, Neil Mix, has been with Pandora for more than eight years and helped build our very first smartphone app. Here’s his story about its development:
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Redefining Radio in the Car

Today we’re excited to share that Pandora is now available in more than 100 car models.

This exciting milestone has been the result of an extensive engineering and business effort we have had underway for the past several years, establishing partnerships with 23 of the world’s best-known automotive brands and 8 aftermarket manufacturers to provide a steady stream of vehicle launches and aftermarket systems that integrate Pandora for a completely redefined radio experience in the car.

Through the connectivity of a smartphone, these integrations shift the popular controls of the Pandora service – like station selection and thumbs feedback – from the phone into the vehicle dashboard, which makes listening to personalized radio in the car as easy as AM/FM radio.
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What Our 200 Million Registered Listeners Can Mean for Under-the-Radar Musicians

Every artist can remember the first time their music got played on radio. The impact of a local DJ adding the song in rotation, or even just a single spin is huge. For my band, it was KFOG in San Francisco, winter 1994. We were ecstatic. We didn’t get picked up for steady rotation, but for that night we felt like rock stars.

Twenty years later the single-minded quest for airplay remains the industry’s obsession, and for the vast majority of working artists, that quest still ends in failure. But that dynamic is changing. Beneath the radar, there is a sea change that is poised to fundamentally alter the equation for working musicians.

In the month of January of this year, Pandora played the music of more than 100,000 different artists. In that same period of time, the three largest broadcast radio stations in the country played a grand total of 297, 157 and 261 unique artists respectively. For the first time, thousands of working musicians, who have had virtually no terrestrial radioplay, are now on air. And they’re playing for big audiences.
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200 million strong!

We are very excited to announce today that Pandora has reached 200 million registered listeners!

When we launched http://www.pandora.com in 2005, we hoped to create a new way to discover and enjoy music that was completely personalized for each and every listener.  We envisioned a time when artists of all kinds would thrive on radio, connecting with fans who loved exactly their kind of music.

I have to admit, we had no idea what was in store! It has been, and continues to be, an extraordinary experience for all of us.
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A note to our listeners

This week we will begin communicating directly with a small number of our listeners as we introduce a 40-hour-per-month limit on free mobile listening.

Most of you reading this will never hit the limit. In fact, it will affect less than 4% of our total monthly active listeners. For perspective, the average listener spends approximately 20 hours listening to Pandora across all devices in any given month.
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