Pandora

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Pandora

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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.

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.

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.

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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User Reviews

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betsy fowler
May 16th, 2019 Lehi, UT DETAILS
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M husband and I absolutely love Pandora. We use it almost daily, and even moreso with our newborn. We have found several mellow stations that she loves to listen to throughout the day. My only negative is that sometimes the "artist station" we are listening will to will be surprisingly lacking in music from that particular artist. What's that about. Overall however, we recommend Pandora for anyone who wants to expand their music repertoire or mix up ther music listening experience without having to to download a gazillion new songs or artists.

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Scott
May 15th, 2019 Orem, UT DETAILS
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I enjoy my Pandora especially when I am outside exercising or hiking. It is definitely worth the small amount I pay monthly for the subscription. I can't see myself switching to another provider since I like it so much!

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Jeremy
May 14th, 2019 Mesa, AZ

I really enjoy using pandora to search for new music I’d like. I’ve never paid for the service but I’m impressed with what I get from the free version.

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Reese
May 14th, 2019 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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Pandora is my go to for music on my mobile device. I use it at the gym, while running, and driving. It is easy to personalize the stations to fit what I like and I love that it picks the music for me that meets my taste. Love Pandora!

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Dean
May 14th, 2019 Ogden, UT DETAILS
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Pandora steaming music is an awesome deal! The way the app works with its AI has been very eye opening for me to try new music that I otherwise wouldn't have. I would recommend Pandora to anyone looking to get a music streaming service.

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Ashley Gneiting
May 14th, 2019 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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I listen to Pandora probably every single day. I love that I can like or not like a music song. I like that I can make my own list of songs to listen to. I do not have premium and sometimes the commercials are the same thing over and over, but I feel like they don't come on that often. I really enjoy the channels and my favorite is Tori Kelley!

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Jennifer
May 13th, 2019 Ogden, UT DETAILS
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I use my Pandora music streaming service on a daily basis. I love how easy it is to use and the capabilities it has to know the music I love and recommend new songs to me. The price is great compared to other music streaming services. I don't know how I would workout without my Pandora.

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Ashley
May 9th, 2019 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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I listen to Pandora probably every single day. I like the variety of channels it offers. I opt for the free version of Pandora so I get a few commercials but it isn't that bad at all! I also like the feature that you can save your favorite songs you hear with a touch of a button!

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Alexandra Chavez-Earls
May 7th, 2019 Chandler, AZ

I used to love pandora but I feel like a lot of the songs in the playlists eventually get too repetitive. It’s very limited and needs to update a lot in order to compete with other apps similar like Apple Music and Spotify.

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Tyler Mansfield
April 15th, 2019 Provo, UT

I enjoy the free version, though not enough to pay for a subscription. Always get some of the same ads, which is less fun. But overall, good service.

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Abby Driggs
March 26th, 2019 Provo, UT

Way too many adds for me to even enjoy the music. I would choose Spotify over Pandora.

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Tim Berrett
February 13th, 2019 American Fork, UT DETAILS
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I like the stations that Pandora has, but hasve not been impressed with their rate of modernization, building custom playlists, saving songs, etc. Great for a radio type experience. Even if you are a paying customer. Its not much monthly, but its also not worth it.

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S Suguturaga
February 13th, 2019 Orem, UT DETAILS
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I like the different levels provided by the product for your music needs. I also enjoy the variety of musical categories provided and the ability to create playlists.

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Michael E Berrett
February 13th, 2019 Lindon, UT DETAILS
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Pandora is a wonderful idea and organization. In our home we have truly enjoyed having high quality music, with little interruption of advertisement, in the genre which we are looking for. It has been a wonderful thing to bae able to listen to some of the best music in the world at very little cost, simply by giving a little direction on what you are looking for with the music. Thank you pandora!

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Londyn Berrett
February 13th, 2019 American Fork, UT DETAILS
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Good for a radio station type of streaming service. The ads are super annoying so we started paying for the service. No ads is nice, but I still don't understand how to create playlists, save music, save songs, download music to stream while offline, etc. Not as intuitive as some other streaming services.

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Erin
February 13th, 2019 Lindon, UT DETAILS
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I love listening to Pandora when I workout. Great variety of music and the connection is always clear. It’s easy to use and you can pick and choose what music you like.

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Christy Suguturaga
February 13th, 2019 Orem, UT DETAILS
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Pandora is one of my best friends. I actually listen to it every day when I am cleaning my house. ( I have a bunch of kids including toddlers so I start over every morning) Depending on my mood I listen to everything and I love how easy it is to change the channel. I have perfected a few channels with my likes and dislikes. I can turn on my kids channel or my sing loud channel or my teeny bopper channel. Everybody is happy. Amazing invention. Makes the world a better place. Can’t live without it!

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Abigail De Oliveira
February 13th, 2019 American Fork, UT

Pandora is amazing for its channels. I use both Pandora and spotify. While I like both pandora has better pre made stations.

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Ponch Thompson
February 12th, 2019 South Jordan, UT DETAILS
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We use Pandora, but the requirement to listen to other artists in the same genre is frustrating. We use it less than other streaming services.

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Nicole Garrett
February 12th, 2019 Lehi, UT

I really like Pandora as a free music app. I use it frequently and enjoy the variety I get within my stations.

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JR Suguturaga
February 12th, 2019 Orem, UT

This product has Great music selections and there are variety of opportunities for everyone.

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Jordan
February 12th, 2019 Alpine, UT

I’ve used the free version of Pandora since 2001. I use Pandora probably 4x per week. I am fine putting up with the Ads so that I don’t have to pay. I enjoy finding similar music to the artist I searched to expand my music experience.

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JNH
February 12th, 2019 American Fork, UT

I like pandora and the variety of stations that I get to choose from, however the advertisements drive me crazy. Not enough to pay more money, I guess!

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Jenny
February 12th, 2019 Alpine, UT

I love listening to Pandora. I am a free customer, and I love that I can listen for free.

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Jada Scott
February 12th, 2019 Provo, UT DETAILS
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Pandora is my go-to music source! I love how they suggest songs based on your music preferences.

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Cristiana
February 12th, 2019 Orem, UT

I'm using Pandora every day. I love the music selection and the way that we can build the play lists.

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Brennan
February 12th, 2019 Orem, UT DETAILS
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Pandora is great and their service keeps getting better and better. I feel like I get exactly what I pay for and the service is always reliable. Pandora is a great option for anyone looking into getting a music streaming service. Give Pandora a try!

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Brandie Rudy
February 12th, 2019 West Jordan, UT DETAILS
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Our entire family loves Pandora. We love the ability to customize stations, the access to so much music, and the ability to keep the music clean and family friendly. We don't even mind the ads so much, but if they really bothered us I know we can pay for great access to music.

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Amanda Olsen
February 12th, 2019 Eagle Mountain, UT DETAILS
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Pandora is awesome! Expansive collection of music and love the playlists that it creates. I also like being able to give songs a "thumbs up" so it remembers songs that I like. Very enjoyable!

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Ryan Huntsman
February 11th, 2019 American Fork, UT DETAILS
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I have been a long-time user of Pandora. I don't pay to get rid of the advertisements and likely never will. They don't bug me too bad. I like the playlists that they select.

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Tracey Hazel
February 11th, 2019 Orem, UT

Pandora is great, but unless you pay extra you can only skip so many songs. It gets a little annoying after a while and that’s why I don’t really use it anymore.

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Sophie
February 11th, 2019 American Fork, UT

Helps you find new music based off of what you like. Because of Pandora I am now a huge Shawn Mendes fan. So glad I now know my future husband.

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Myah Smith
February 11th, 2019 American Fork, UT

Pandora was a good app to use for a while. I enjoyed having the playlists made for me based on what I like, but I wanted to be able to pick my own songs.

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Mandi Smith
February 11th, 2019 American Fork, UT

Pandora is so awesome because it has such a big selection of music that I am looking for. It is so useful and entertaining.

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Krysten
February 11th, 2019 Lehi, UT

Loved using and liked playlists. Great app for finding new music, bands, and artists.

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Jaicee Roden
February 11th, 2019 Orem, UT

Pandora has always been my go to for music playlists. It's super user friendly, and I, now, have a number of playlists that play on repeat. I love that there is an explicit content filter option, it makes it easy to play in public places.

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Amanda
February 11th, 2019 Lehi, UT DETAILS
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I like Pandora. I have used it for many years and I always enjoy the music selection.

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Zack
February 7th, 2019 Salt Lake City, UT

I love how I can fine tune my music on Pandora. You are able to select songs you do and do not like and it then plays songs according to your liking. Great way to listen to music.

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Brody B
February 7th, 2019 Orem, UT DETAILS
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I love my Pandora! Easy to use with great options to build playlists and suggested songs. I have used a handful of stream music apps and Pandora is my favorite. Great price for a great service.

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Sunny Perry
February 6th, 2019 Springville, UT DETAILS
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Pandora is awesome because it is different than all of the rest of the music apps that i have ever used. I like that when you listen to a song you like, you can hear music a lot similar to that. It makes finding good music soooo much more easy and efficient.

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Lindsey B
February 6th, 2019 Orem, UT DETAILS
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I absolutely LOVE Pandora!!! It has always met my needs when streaming music. I love the filters when necessary and their predictive programming always seems to find songs that I would like that I haven't heard before. Great service especially for the money.

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Ann Bailey
February 6th, 2019 Lehi, UT DETAILS
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I love Pandora! The ease of using it and the fact that it is free to use makes listening to music a more pleasurable experience on my phone.

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Cindy Bailey
February 5th, 2019 Lehi, UT

I like that Pandora is free. It is simple to use and doesn’t require much from me

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Stacy
February 5th, 2019 Lehi, UT

Love pandora! Listen to it all the time and so do my kids. Love the variety of stations

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Lauren Jorgensen
February 5th, 2019 Salt Lake City, UT DETAILS
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I like Pandora music but I don't like that they had commercials and it wasn't as user friendly as some other music streaming apps.

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Cody mills
February 5th, 2019 Lehi, UT

Pandora is overall pretty good cause it’s free . I just wish it had a little more variety but it’s free so can’t complain to much.

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Chelsea Horrocks
February 5th, 2019 Salt Lake City, UT

I love pandora for listening while I workout and at my retail shop. It’s easy, affordable, and I like that I can customize my stations.

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Amy
February 5th, 2019 Lehi, UT

It is so fun creating stations and listening to not only your favorite songs but hearing new songs you never knew about.

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Valarie Heaps
February 4th, 2019 Lehi, UT DETAILS
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Ok I have my own Esthetics Business and I absolutely love that when I am working with a client I can customize their experience with music they like or even just a general one style fits all station without commercials for a low monthly rate.

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Jason Brown
February 4th, 2019 Lehi, UT

I've never paid for the service because I subscribe to Amazon. With that being said, I love the stations it has and frequently listen.