Pandora Logo
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758 User Reviews

8.4

Overall Score

In today's media-driven world, music streaming has become a hot market-and Pandora is one of the leading names in that market. A subsidiary of Pandora Media, Inc., Pandora was founded in January 2000 by Tim Westergren, Will Glaser, and Jon Kraft. Its current CEO is Brian P. McAndrews. While its headquarters are in Oakland, California, the business streams music for people all over the United States as well as in New Zealand and Australia. More than 1,300 employees strong, Pandora has 26 office locations and (as of 2012) brings in about $274 million in revenue. If you've used Pandora at all, you may have heard of an effort called the Music Genome Project. Doesn't ring a bell? The project is basically the effort of music analysts to study every facet of every genre of music-all in the effort to anticipate what song you, the user, would want to hear next. These analysts examine more than 400 musical traits of each and every song. Considered "musicologists," they typically have a four-year degree in music theory, composition, or performance. With this extensive background, the people on the Music Genome Project use their expertise to not only master your personal listening preferences but also introduce you to music you'd probably love. In this vein, Pandora is an excellent resource for streaming music you already like and discovering new tunes. So what can you expect with Pandora? For starters, their basic version is ad-supported-a.k.a. free to users. To sign up, you enter your email address, gender, zip code, and birth year and create a password to sign in. After that, you can browse stations that are based on songs, artists, genres, and occasions. While listening, you can click the familiar thumbs up or down, and Pandora will keep track of your likes and dislikes and base their suggestions off of those.

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The Good

For users, probably the best and simplest aspect of Pandora is that it's free. If you're tired of hearing an ad every several songs, you can certainly subscribe to the uninterrupted Pandora One for $4.99 per month. But if not, you can count on Pandora to listen to a wide variety of songs at no cost. And what a wide variety they have! With Pandora, you can listen to practically every genre out there-everything from alternative and rock, to blues and jazz, to oldies, to pop, to country. What's more, you can look up stations specifically for dinner parties, road trips, and holidays. Oh, the convenience of it all. Pandora stays up-to-date with new releases as well. There's also room on your Pandora account to create up to 100 different stations. So it's no problem to save mixes for your workouts, your kids, and your study time. Once you create a station on Pandora, it will stay on your account unless you delete it-ready for you to access at the click of a button. Conveniently, Pandora also saves all your preferences. Once you click a thumbs up or down for a song, Pandora takes note. If you click up, the song is added to the list of likes in your account history. If you click down, Pandora will never play the song again. (And if you click the button in between for "I'm tired of this track," Pandora understands. They'll take a break from playing it for awhile.) Here's another bonus: Say you're feeling indecisive and don't know which genre you're in the mood for. There's an option to hit shuffle, and Pandora will play songs from all the stations you want. Unlike some competitors, Pandora doesn't require you to download anything to stream their music. You can simply sign in and hit play. They will also play on a variety of devices, including Web, iOS, Windows, and Android. You can listen to it on home devices, on your phone, or in the car. Besides the conveniences of actually streaming their music, Pandora has a positive reputation with 14 years of experience to back them up. Their staff are considered music experts (those "musicologists" from the Music Genome Project we talked about). So you can feel confident that they'll understand your tastes and be able to match them.
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The Bad

Every rose has its thorn, however, and positive as Pandora's reputation is, it does have its limitations. For better or worse, "free" isn't purely free for everyone. Because Pandora makes no money off consumers who use their free version, they display banner ads and interrupt your streaming every several songs to play a 30-second ad. (What's more, they often repeat the same ads for days.) So you have to either be willing to pay for Pandora One or put up with the interruptions. In addition to ad interruptions, Pandora also times out on you. If you've been streaming music for an hour or two without clicking anything, Pandora will stop playing and ask if you're still listening. If you are, you can just hit yes and keep listening. But you might get tired of the pauses. Next limitation: the limit on the number of skips. For one reason or another, we all want to skip a few songs when streaming music. But with Pandora, you can only skip a handful of songs per hour. If you happen to be skipping a lot of songs, you'll eventually have to put up with the current song or switch to a different station. In essence, while Pandora is a leading service for discovering new music, it doesn't give you as much control as other competitors do. With services like Spotify, you can select specific songs to stream or put your favorite track on repeat. Unfortunately, Pandora doesn't let you do that. Instead, you're fed whatever songs they suggest.
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The Bottom Line

At the heart of it, Pandora is a prime tool for music discovery. From its beginnings, its staff members have strived to scrutinize all types of song and introduce users to music based on their individual tastes. It's also one of the few streaming services that offers a free version (though it's supported by ads). So despite some lack of control you'd have with Pandora, you can expect to enjoy a wide variety of stations and a ton of suggestions that are based on your preferences. You can also be confident that you're giving business to an experienced company that has helped lead the way in the online music industry we know today.
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Star Rating

4.2

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758 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

44%

4 grade

33%

3 grade

17%

2 grade

4%

1 grade

2%

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Darrin Pelham Rincon, GA

I have used Pandora for sometime now and I have really gotten used to their app and navigating around it. Pandora has a genre for everyone with endless music in each genre. There is a feature that will introduce you to new music that you might not have heard of or styles that you have not tried before. Try Pandora and enjoy!

1 month ago

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Makayla Holland Gaithersburg, MD

I used to use pandora, I don’t like how you can’t type in what song you want to listen to you just get a similar playlist to the song that you want. Which is good because some times you hear songs that you haven’t listen to in a while. But I just don’t like the fact that you can choose what song you want to listen too. But other than that pandora is a good app

2 months ago

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Hillary Swensen Layton, UT

Great app! There are many great features even without premium. The music selection can get repetitive, but the app works well.

4 days ago

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Tommi Young Louisville, KY

I love Pandora it plays all the music that I like. Some of the songs that I haven't heard in a long time that I hear bring back good memories. It also plays current songs that I like as well. This company knows what I like and I love it. I listen to them when I am working. It makes the days go by smoother. Love it love it love it.

3 months ago

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Robyn Brady Kent, OH

I listen to Pandora everyday while I am at work and while I am at home doing chores. I am not a paying customer anymore but I do like that I can "thumbs UP or thumbs DOWN" a song and they eventually create the perfect play list for me.

3 months ago

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Morgan Idaho Falls, ID

Love Pandora but I’ll only use the free version so I do have ads which can be frustrating. It’s fun to just have music played for you and it helps me discover new songs.

3 weeks ago

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Amberlee Hildebrand Orem, UT

Good music, easy to navigate, not too much hassle over using the free version. There was a large availability of various artists too.

4 weeks ago

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CJ Milke Olney, MD

Pandora is the best music service to find new music. In the free version, you can listen to songs from different radio stations and get a taste for new music in other genera, or new music in your favorite genera!

2 months ago

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Frances Harmatuk Baltimore, MD

I love the ability to find stations. My only issue is having to sit through the ads. I don't listen to music on my phone often enough to justify paying for the ability to not have ads, and the ads are what keeps me looking for other services to provide music when I need it. Sorry Pandora. The ads are the worse

2 months ago

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Jessica Chen Rockville, MD

I've used Pandora in the past. I think Pandora provides costumers with a variety of music. I don't like Pandora's format as much as other music platforms, but I do think Pandora is great for users who want to listen to music for free. When using Pandora, I don't like the amount of ads they provided, but it was a good enough music platform for being free.

2 months ago

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Magnum0970 Cerritos, CA

I listen to Pandora every single day while I work. I like that I can build custom channels that have the type of music I prefer without having to build a specific playlist or a specific artist, it gives me a nice variety. I’m a paying customer so I can avoid the commercials, and would recommend this to others as well

5 months ago

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Leonard Thompson Show Low, AZ

Pandora has been so nice to have music of my choosing readily available at anytime I want. It’s nice to not have to listen to the radio and pick my favorites and jam out on my commutes. It’s is easy to use and convenient. I also like that I can play music from not just my phone, but on my t.v. as well. I am a huge music fan making Pandora a huge part of my life.

5 months ago

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Brycen Blater Provo, UT

It is a great place to listen to music if you are in the mood for a type of music. If you listen to a lot of music though it can sometimes get a little repetitive especially if you run out of skips.

1 month ago

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Jodianna Maitland, FL

I love how Pandora always knows what I want to listen to! They have a variety of music ranging from rap, rnb, hip hop, to todays hits!

1 month ago

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Jun Chen Columbus, OH

I like Pandora because it provides a wide variety of music. The only thing is Pandora has a lot of ads and is annoying to even play one song. Sometimes I had to go through three to five ads just to play a few songs which makes it annoying

2 months ago

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Eliza Jane Arledge Smithfield, UT

Pandora is an amazing music streaming app, but it is also a great way to find new music that you may be interested in. I love how you can find other albums that others have already created or you can create your own. I love how user friendly it is. I am always finding new song I love by simply putting in a song I already like and them doing all the work to find other songs I may like. Pandora is always my go to when looking for new songs to jazz up my playlist.

8 months ago

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peter harmatuk Poolesville, MD

I have been a PANDORA user since the service was initially provided. I will stay with PANDORA even though there are other services I could use at no additional cost....for example SONOS has a service it provides to owners of its systems. PANDORA (I use the subscription service) provides me with all the choices I need in music selection....

4 months ago

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Vicki H. Poolesville, MD

We use Pandora using Appleplay from our cell phone while traveling in our car. We use it on Apple TV as background music in our home. We also often use it as background music on our PC's when we need to spend time at our desks. Love the way you can set up stations to group types of music by favorite musicians.

4 months ago

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The Voice Over Closet Anaheim, CA

So much better than spotify. It's easy to use, and the radio stations are really smart, they find music based on the song I choose that really fits with my taste. Although sometimes I can't find my super old radio, but overall this is the best music app that I've used and I've discovered tons of new music on it.

5 months ago

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Nyla C. Edison, NJ

Pandora was one of the first music apps that I ever downloaded. After years though, I don't often use this service anymore. But, I do remember it shuffling good music. It is an app that plays a lot of ads though, so this can get a little annoying. But it is a free music-streaming app that every music lover needs. I would say that Pandora is a great music platform overall, but definitely not my first choice.

5 months ago

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Whitney Wilkins West Valley City, UT

Pandora has so much music to choose from. I love how they have so many different playlists or stations to just shuffle or play from. It's great for any occasion no matter what you're doing and is also a great way to find new music.

5 months ago

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Sicely Lyn Russell Chandler, AZ

I've had Pandora for a year now and I love it! I love that it has a lot of clean versions because thats what I prefer. I love that I can make Playlists and I love the radios it has! The only thing is sometimes songs will be unable for a couple of weeks and I wonder why? But other than that the $10 a month is totally worth it! :)

5 months ago

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Adam Simpson Provo, UT

Pandora introduced me to almost all of my current favorite bands. It's free service was so nice for me in high school. It gives a wide variety of music that is both catered to your taste and also extends you bit by bit. Love it!

5 months ago

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Stefanie Ewer Providence, UT

Listen every day to Pandora while I’m at work. I love how you can pick a station with the type of music you are in the mood for and listen to the songs is shuffles through. If you don’t like a song you just click the thumbs down and pandora moves onto a different song in that same category. At Christmas time it’s so fun to pick which type of Christmas music you want to listen to.

8 months ago

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Tim Johnson Eureka, IL

I have the free and it's just great, no need to purchase unless you want to make a playlist, commercials aren't that bad

3 months ago

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Donald Gustafson Colorado Springs, CO

i listen to them all the time only problem i have with them is i someties have problems getting their app to work in my truck

3 months ago

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David Simpson Grove, OK

Love putting on Pandora and just letting the music flow. Great selection of new and old music. It's on all the time in the summer at our pool.

3 months ago

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Cassidy Lucas Olney, MD

One thing I didn’t like about this Company is the set up of the app. One thing I like about this company is how many song options they have. I would like to see a better update from them.

2 months ago

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Leonard Leo Potomac, MD

Searching for individually songs is difficult and yields playlists that might include the song. Downloading songs is easy. The free version is limited, but adequate.

2 months ago

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Aaliya Ghadafii Tallahassee, FL

Pandora has some really good radio stations to listen to when you don’t know exactly what song in particular you want to choose from in your library. There’s a lot of stations that I love in my personal collection.

5 months ago

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Bria Daley Tallahassee, FL

What I like best about Pandora is that it is very versatile and allows you to listen to all kinds of similar music related to the artist you have chosen. You don't end up listening to the same things twice, which I enjoy!

5 months ago

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Taylor Hall Los Angeles, CA

Pandora is a quality app if you are not looking for anything specific to listen to. It’s a great alternative to the radio with less at. Sometimes I am just feeling a genre but I’m not sure what I want to hear. Pandora helps me out.

5 months ago

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Caloway Salt Lake City, UT

Pandora is a good streaming service especially if you are only planning on using the free version. Their radio stations are also superior to other streaming services. However, if you are looking to make/find playlists, it is harder to find good ones and the process to make them is more tedious. I personally do not like the layout of the screen but if you are looking for cheap or a good free streaming service, Pandora is the one to go with.

5 months ago

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Alexa Williamson Orem, UT

I use pandora every time I want to find new music. I like the face that I can search a radio and it plays what is new. I also like that I can turn off Explicit so that only clean songs play. They have a station for everyone!

5 months ago

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Freddy V Layton, UT

Pandora is a pretty good app to listen to music. I type a song and then it pulls up a radio based on that song, it’s pretty awesome, most of my friends at work use pandora and we always have a blast knowing pandora always picks the right songs for us

5 months ago

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Jennifer Ashby Lehi, UT

I love pandora. I have used it on the app and browser and its so easy. I don’t mind the ads. It’s easy to create a station that fits my taste in music to a t. I have also used it for children’s music and they have a great variety.

6 months ago

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McKenzie Logan, UT

I seriously play pandora All day long! I love finding a station that matches the mood I’m in, and then I just enjoy my afternoon. I have found an absolute favorite for the holiday season with beautiful Christmas music. There is a station for every listener! AMAZING!

8 months ago

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Ryan Larsen Logan, UT

We use Pandora as the main music source in our home. We love the channels and music selection. It provides a great mix of music types and stations. Everyone from my wife to my youngest child can find music they like on Pandora.

8 months ago

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Tayli Vollmer Smithfield, UT

Pandora is a wonderful music streaming app. Because there is an explicit filter, I'm not ever worried about listening to music that I'm not comfortable listening to, or not comfortable listening to with my little sisters around.

8 months ago

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Ryan Harpenau Fayetteville, AR

Pandora is definitely not as good as other streaming services like Spotify, but it is a great app if you can't decide what to listen to since it plays based on artists you tell them you like. I used it a lot in the past when I didn't want to pay for a streaming service, so I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a free streaming service.

8 months ago

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Noah Talbot Provo, UT

Terrible song recommendation and ad heavy, but a good way to find more music from specific bands you like.

3 weeks ago

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Irinna Danielson Riverton, UT

We love to have music playing when we're doing work at home and Pandora is the streaming service we go to when we're connected to our TV, tablet, and phone. It's got all of the playlists we love, it's easy to use, and it's just so convenient to have music connected to all of our devices. Music helps make everything better and Pandora makes music more accessible to jam out when we need/want to.

10 months ago

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Natalie Drewery ,

I'm a huge promoter of Pandora to family and friends! I'm a pretty indecisive person so I love that I am able to put a genre that I love and Pandora does all the work. I have found so many amazing artists that I would've never listened to if it wasn't for Pandora's selections. I love the trust I have in their selections and it takes out all the work for me. Huge Win Win for me.

10 months ago

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Jaelynn Florence Tallahassee, FL

Pandora has great options and they really personalize the stations for your liking.

1 month ago

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Katrina Breithaupt Provo, UT

I love the variety of music available on Pandora and they have really improved their options with their skip and replay additions. They do have frequent interruptions for adds but they are not as frequent as other streaming services and they often have offers of "watch this video and get an hour of uninterrupted listening" which is really nice. I have several playlists on Pandora and I listen to them wherever I am: running, working, studying, etc. The only complaint I have is that they don't have an international version, so every time I travel out of the country I don't have access to any of my playlists.

5 months ago

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Rhona Leffler Olney, MD

Pandora offers an incredible variety of music choices. Even with commercials, it is hugely enjoyable.

2 months ago

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Julia Howe Logan, UT

Pandora is a great way for me to listen to music. The best thing is that it is free. The one thing I would change is how many adds they have. Other than that I would totally recommend this to everyone I know.

8 months ago

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Megan Milke Baltimore, MD

Pandora was my go to music company for school because there were lots of clean playlists to play with younger kids around. I love Pandora and will continue to use!

4 months ago

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Conrad Ma American Fork, UT

Pandora is an amazing app to use! You can create stations of songs or artists or full albums and it will play you similar music so you can find new music you might like!

5 months ago

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Alexa Cooper Salt Lake City, UT

The free version is a bit frustrating when you want to search a particular song, but I like that it knows songs you’d like to listen to that you wouldn’t think of in the moment!

5 months ago

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