Back in the summer of 2008, Pandora had over 10 million listeners on the web and we were growing at a pretty good clip. Then in July we released Pandora for iPhone and everything changed. Suddenly, people could take Pandora with them: into the gym, the car, the living room, the kitchen, outside while jogging… the list goes on. Pandora truly became an anytime, anywhere phenomenon and as a result the use of Pandora accelerated dramatically. Less than two years later, we have over 50 million listeners and mobile listening accounts for more than 40% of the hours we stream.

In the years that followed, we brought Pandora to more and more environments with the goal of being everywhere our listeners wanted us to be: on Blackberries and Androids, Blu-Rays and TVs.

However, there was still one thing missing for our iPhone users: background listening. That’s all about to change.

Some weeks ago Apple invited us to a secret meeting where they revealed that background applications were coming to the iPhone OS 4 and that they’d like to use Pandora to show off these new capabilities at their big iPhone OS 4 product unveiling. Under the new operating system, Pandora will stream in the background while you use your iPhone to browse the web, read an e-book or play a game.

Participating in Apple’s launch event meant sending an engineer to Apple to update our software for OS 4 (this took about a day) and many, many, many (many) hours of presentation preparation so that we’d be ready to share the stage with Steve Jobs. This of course was all done with the utmost secrecy. Just a tiny handful of people even inside Pandora knew what we were doing.

Getting to participate in one of these Apple events has been a kind of lifelong dream for me. The Apple folks are masters of these types of presentations and it was an incredible experience to get to experience it from the inside. As our Founder Tim and I stood on stage presenting, there was a moment about halfway through where my nerves calmed enough (The software was going to work! It was going to be ok!) that I could just enjoy the moment and just take it all in. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.

Apple released the iPhone OS 4 Developer Preview this week so that engineers can start updating their applications in anticipation of the launch of the new OS sometime this summer. We’re incredibly excited to enable background listening on the iPhone (and ultimately on the iPad too) — we’ll be ready just as soon as Apple ships the new OS.



  1. Richard
    July 10, 2010 at 8:49pm
    I love your app on my Iphone.I recently upgraded my 3G to OS4 and now it wont play when I plug into my Logiteck Pur-Fi Anywhere 2. It had no problem befor. Have you hear this from anyone else? Is there a fix?
  2. Ashley
    July 17, 2010 at 10:56am
    I think another great enhancement to this already fantastic app would be to have a timer feature on here. I love to listen to my music at night but tend to wake up to the music still playing. It could be nice if we had a way to say set it to turn off after a specific amount of inactivity. My slacker portable player has that but since getting the iPhone I use this a lot more.
  3. Reza
    July 27, 2010 at 3:12pm
    Love Pandora. Would be great to see functionality added so that it could be controlled through the iPod pin connector. I dock my iPhone in my BMW's iPod dock but cant control Pandora through my in-dash stereo system, so it makes it very inconvenient. Would definitely upgrade to Pandora One if that functionality was added
  4. grace darnell
    July 29, 2010 at 3:41pm
    i can't believe this works so well!!! pandora has given me the music that i knew i wanted to hear but also music that i like but have only heard once in other settings and immediatly dissmissed it. thank you pandora!!!!
  5. Jessica
    August 25, 2010 at 5:34pm
    Can someone tell me why I can't do the background listening? Everytime I change to something else the music shuts off. It works with Sirius/XM and I saw the demo for Pandora to do it, even though it looks different. Please dont tell me this is something only in the paid version. I have the new iphone 4 and have Pandora version 3.1.3. Thanks
  6. Jessica
    August 25, 2010 at 5:42pm
    Fixed by a hard reset, hold down both buttons until it turns off. :)
  7. Bryan Crawford
    September 21, 2010 at 2:50pm
    I have the same problem as Chuk: "I have a Gen2 iPod Touch. I have been using Pandora via Wifi for quite awhile now with no issues. I just upgraded to iOS 4.0. Since the upgrade I struggle with frequent skipping. Most of the time once it starts skipping it gets stuck skipping constantly until I stop and restart Pandora. Anyone else seeing this issue?" I updated to 4.1 yesterday, same issue. Thanks, Bryan
  8. Bill
    October 13, 2010 at 9:42am
    I like to listent to Pandora Radio in the library on my iphone, but I cannot stop the phone from ringing as it overrides the vibrate using earbuds. Any solution thru PR settings or IPhone? Bill
  9. killa
    January 31, 2011 at 6:56pm
    I wood love to be a part of pandra
  10. Richard
    March 31, 2011 at 2:23pm
    I love pandora on my iphone but how do I turn it off?

Comments are closed.