It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been just 9 weeks since we launched Pandora. In that time you’ve created over 1 million stations, starting from 70,000 unique songs and artists. I really can’t imagine a more gratifying response. Easily the best part of all of this has been interacting with many of you via email and in the blogosphere. Thanks for all the great product and music suggestions. It’s been a blast.
We’ve been busy working on the second version of Pandora and we’re launching today. We’re adding new features and an entirely new way to enjoy Pandora.
On the feature front, you’ve told us loud and clear that you want a way to keep track of the music you’re discovering on Pandora. So we’ve added a “favorites” feature that lets you add songs to your very own Pandora personal page. Just click on the album art when you hear a song you love and select “Add to Your Favorites Page” from the menu. Your favorites page is a great consolidated shopping list of all he music you’re discovering on Pandora. You can even share your personal page with friends — who knows maybe they’ll get the hint about what to get you the next time your birthday rolls around, There are easy links to Amazon and iTunes right on the page. We’ve also (finally) given you the ability to review and edit all of the work you’ve put into your stations. Just click the little triangle next to a station name and select “Edit this Station”. You’ll see all the feedback you’ve given (thumbs up/down) as well as the songs and artists you’ve added with the “Add More Kinds of Music” feature. Make changes till your heart’s content. You can even use this same feature to look at the definitions for stations that your friends have sent you. While those are the big, obvious new features, we’ve also been hard at work on playlist generation and we think you’ll find that Pandora does a better job now of responding quickly to your feedback and plays better musical mixes. This is a never-ending quest for us; expect playlists to get better each time we release a new version. That’s our core mission. This release we’ve made some very big strides with our Electronica playlists in particular. We think they’re much improved; let us know what you think! Finally we’ve been polishing up lots of little stuff throughout the interface. We think it’s the little things that matter, so we hope you like those changes too.
The other big piece of news is that we’ve opened the doors on an entirely new way to listen to Pandora. You see we’d planned to launch an ad-supported, free version of Pandora next year, but the sheer volume of new listeners that have found Pandora in the past 9 weeks led us to accelerate our timetable for offering the ad-supported, free version of Pandora. So, starting today, you have a choice: you can listen to ad-supported Pandora for free, or you can subscribe and experience an entirely ad-free version. It’s completely your choice. The service has exactly the same features either way. We’re still experimenting with the right way to bring advertising to Pandora, so you’ll notice us playing with different advertising forms over the coming months. We’d love to know what you think as we work through this. We’re dedicated to mixing advertising into the experience in a way that doesn’t detract from your music discovery experience.
So it’s been an incredible, busy, fun, exciting, exhausting, and thrilling couple of months here. We’re loving every minute of it. Thank you for being a part of it. As always, we love to hear your thoughts and critiques about what we’re doing. Please don’t hesitate to drop us an email or leave a comment here.
This is just the beginning. There’s lots of great stuff to come and we want your help in shaping the evolution of Pandora. It’s sure been a great collaboration so far.
-Tom
CTO @ Pandora
PS: For those of you in the Bay Area, we’re really hoping to meet you tonight at the first Pandora meetup. We hope you can make it!

Comments

  1. Angela
    November 28, 2005 at 4:35pm
    Is it at all possible in the future to have an option to pay, say, a monthly subscription to the site and be able to download the songs we like (with a limit set for dollar amounts - like $20 a month gets you 20 downloads and $50 a month is unlimited, or something)? That would be amazing.
  2. Sirio
    November 29, 2005 at 2:08am
    Finally, the box has been opened and with it, the hope of having access, at last, to stations of personalised music; your own taste, your own music. Just wonderful, a dream just a month ago. Carry on with it =))
  3. Cliff Boobyer
    November 29, 2005 at 5:21am
    Hi, Apologies if this is mentioned as a request somewhere... It would be really cool to remove a song from a radio, not affecting the selection behaviour, just so that you don't hear it all the time ie. You can customly remove tracks you hear too often - just so you can keep your radio fresh. Also, maybe a voluntary form when you say you don't like a track - bringing up the songs genome so that you can say "songs perfect, except I would like to remove the vocals attribute". Otherwise, stunning software guys! Cliff
  4. Ed
    November 29, 2005 at 1:03pm
    What a cool site. I could spend days on it. Like the inventor of the offset wrench and interval wipers, I hope that you get great benefits for providing such a wonderful product.
  5. Vick
    November 29, 2005 at 11:39pm
    I just discovered pandora.. oooh 30 minutes ago and i can already tell that i'll have it on 24/7. Why didn't i find out about this earlier? Good god it's genius, and amazing and every single other adjective that's like stupendous. thank you all soo much
  6. Oliver
    November 30, 2005 at 11:23am
    First of all I have to say that the idea of Pandora is great, and it is a great to promote other unknown artists by style, etc. but to me it seem a little too much to get the Backstreet Boys on a station where I'm programming stuff like The Cure, Catherine Wheel, The Church, Blur, Ride? How do you go about suggesting stuff? and when I try to skip it I get a message that says: "Unfortunatelly, our music licenses force us to limit the number of songs you may skip each hour. Sit back and enjoy the music for now..." There's NO WAY that I'm gonna sit back and enjoy the Backstreet Boys. Oliver.
  7. Ryan M
    December 01, 2005 at 2:36pm
    I'd just like to thank you guys for the wonderful service you've created. I've been looking for music to fill up the remaining two gigs of my iPod, and it's almost gone. You guys have created an amazing service, and I'm almost there. Keep it up!
  8. rob
    December 01, 2005 at 3:32pm
    LOVE Pandora...now PLEASE work on a PSP compatible version!! This would be KILLER to use with the PSP wi-fi browser!!
  9. Scott
    December 01, 2005 at 3:35pm
    The service totally rocks. I have found a ton of new artists to research. I did think of one cool feature that would be a nice to have, a way to merge stations. There is already a branch option by making a new station from a song, but it would be nice to be able to merge stations in an automated way also. I would also love to see what weight each attribute has on a station, but that may be a bit obscure for the masses.
  10. matt_s
    December 04, 2005 at 7:15pm
    If there's a nobel prize for music services, I command it be awarded to Pandora! What I'm most excited about is that this service (which is already blow-u-away fantastic) has so much potential for improvements! I hope that potential is capitalized upon... Just from skimming over the posts so far, and thinking a little... 1) Improve the rating system... e.g. an 'n-star'-based "algorhythm", something more of a continuum than the current 'good or bad'/'keep or don't keep'. 2) You already have this highly-structured 'music genome' classification system based on all this musicology DNA... but I think you HAVE to pair this up with a completely unstructured song-tagging system, ala del.ic.ous, flickr, and last.fm (which was also new to me!). Let the community contribute! Think of the possibilities for advanced search, setting up your playlist 'rules', etc! 3) RSS Feeds for user favorites, etc, also ala del.ic.ous. 4) Some form of out-of-browser player module, widget, or whatever. Or even better, wouldn't we love to see this cleanly integrated into iTunes radio, winamp radio, or name-your-player! 5) A compiled engine we can download and run against our own music libraries!!! soooo... I hear your hiring! ;] -- the matt

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