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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Introducing the New Pandora App for iPad

We’ve found that Pandora listeners love their tablets and will listen to Pandora pretty much wherever their tablets will go: in the kitchen, the office, the living room, the dining room, the bedroom, the garage, the back yard – even in the shower.  (In which case, we assume the tablet is nearby or utilizing a properly tested waterproof case.)

pandora_iPad_hor_optionsSo we are excited to announce the new Pandora 5.0 for iPad.  With this latest version of the Pandora mobile app, we’re bringing a host of new features to the iPad while enhancing and optimizing the experience for the larger iPad screen size.

We’re on a constant mission to provide our listeners with the best possible listening experience – across all devices – so this new Pandora for iPad app includes a number of updates as a direct response to what our listeners told us they wanted most.

New features include enhanced playback and personalization, deeper music discovery and exploration, easy access to a personalized music profile and the ability to connect and share music with friends.
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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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Introducing tv.pandora.com

One of the admirable things about traditional radio is that it is truly ubiquitous – from kitchens and bedside tables to automobiles and coffee shops, wherever you go, radio is there. As Pandora works to fulfill its mission to completely reinvent radio, we too must seamlessly deliver Pandora to every possible listening environment.

tv pandora com 3 (2)One particularly important venue is the living room. As consumers embraced flat screen TV’s and home theater speakers, the center of gravity for music in the home shifted from the family stereo to the television. Pandora connected with this trend early and to date more than 10 million listeners have enjoyed Pandora on their internet-connected television.

Today we’re excited to announce the next generation of Pandora for the living room: tv.pandora.com. This is an entirely new experience designed from the ground up for your television and remote control. This new initiative is standards-based and embraces next generation TV, game console, and set top box architectures that support open web standards. Today tv.pandora.com runs perfectly from the browser in your existing XBox 360, and the system will spread to other environments as more vendors bring standards-compliant TV’s and set top boxes to market in the coming months. It’s also a completely new approach which will allow us to evolve the “10 foot” experience of Pandora with greater flexibility and speed than ever before.


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A Personalized Social Experience

I’m excited to announce a new way to share the music you love with our new Facebook integration. On iPhone, Android, and pandora.com, you can now choose to automatically publish your Pandora music activity to Facebook which will populate your musical identity in Facebook’s newly launched music section.

pandora-publish-to-facebookWhile we’ve offered social features that allow you to explicitly share your Pandora stations and music discoveries to Facebook for some time, today’s update makes sharing effortless. This means it’s easier than ever to discover new music from friends’ listening activity in your Facebook News Feed or by checking out the music section on their profile. The new music section on your Facebook profile includes a dedicated radio collection which offers a great place to find inspiration for new stations to listen to.


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Pandora Premieres: A New Way to Discover

Today we’re thrilled to introduce Pandora Premieres, a brand new way to discover music on Pandora.

Premieres ImagePandora Premieres is a new kind of station for us that lets listeners enjoy on-demand access to early album releases from a variety of artists before they go on-sale. We’re kicking it off today with records from John Fogerty, and Laura Marling.

Once the Pandora Premieres station is added, you can choose to hear any track on the featured albums, in any order and as many times as you’d like, until the album hits the stores. We encourage you to tune in regularly because new albums will be featured every week, with some artists also offering additional exclusive content like video interviews.


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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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