Pandora Logo
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735 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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735 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

45%

4 grade

33%

3 grade

16%

2 grade

4%

1 grade

2%

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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.

1 month 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.

1 month 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

2 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.

2 months 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.

3 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 weeks 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....

2 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.

2 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.

2 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.

2 months ago

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Mary Ella Hardy Charlotte, NC

I just love the variety of music Pandora has to offer. I listen to it every day on my walk.

2 days 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.

1 month 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.

2 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!

2 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! :)

3 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!

3 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.

3 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!

2 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!

2 months ago

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Nyla C. Tallahassee, FL

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.

2 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.

3 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.

3 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!

3 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

3 months ago

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Cal Hunter Riverton, UT

I've been a Pandora customer for over three years. Love the service and the nominal fee you pay for uninterrupted music. They have all the artists I like, highly recommend it!

3 months ago

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Jared Provo, UT

Love finding new music through Pandora. I've come across multiple gems I wouldn't have found otherwise. I've never had the paid subscription, but even the free service was great!

3 months ago

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austin pliler Layton, UT

I’ve been a Pandora user for years. I don’t like Spotify because of the user interface were having to create playlists.I just pick an artist and start listening. That’s great!

3 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.

6 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.

6 months 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.

8 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.

8 months ago

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Maya Smith Jacksonville, FL

Pandora is a wonderful app to play nice music The stations are of quality! I heard new artists and. Discovered nice songs.

2 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!

3 months ago

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Mark Troxel Provo, UT

I use the free Pandora services. You select a music style or artist and Pandora selects similar styles and creates a playlist. You like or dislike songs narrowing your playlist. There are ads for the free service.

3 months ago

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murfday College Station, TX

I appreciate that there is a free option-even if that means listing to the same ads over and over. Playback options are only available for paying customers, but free option is still great.

3 months ago

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Blake Hirschi Salt Lake City, UT

Pandora has been really useful to me in introducing me to new music within genres that I already like. As opposed to other music streaming sites where you have to create playlists yourself. So if your a casual listener to music with not so picky taste, than pandora is probably for you

3 months ago

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Brooke Moser Brentwood, CA

I love pandora because it shows me music that I like according to music that I have been listening to. It helps me find new artists and songs that I now love.

3 months ago

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Max Winkel Salt Lake City, UT

I tried Pandora out for a little over a month and wasnt really impressed. If you dont pay for premium you get bomb barded with ads and not everyone wants to pay to listen to music. If you plan on paying for music I would recommend using spotify or Apple Music but not pandora. The app is pretty simple to use and you can search for any song so i give it 3 stars.

5 months ago

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Vikti Mehta Frisco, TX

Pandora has a great app for playing music from various radio stations you might be in the mood for. I love that the app is free and offers a wide selection of music. There's not as much control in deciding which specific song to choose, but it is still a good music app.

5 months ago

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Desiree Pleasant Grove, UT

Pandora is not my favorite music app, but I like the stations and it's cool to listen to new kinds of music. There's a limited amount of skips and you don't get to choose your music. It's just a station. I like how Pandora figures out your preferences and favorite kind of music to listen to though.

5 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!

6 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.

6 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.

6 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.

6 months ago

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Amber Mixon Houston, TX

I used Pandora for a really long time before receiving Apple Music. The ads in between are terrible if you can’t afford to remove them. But other than that the app is very helpful and very enjoyable for music and/or podcasts.

6 months ago

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Brittany Wilkinson Herriman, UT

My boys and I love the music selection on my Pandora. I love the convenience of having this app on my phone to listen to my music anywhere I go. I love the music selection they offer for a reasonable amount each month. My favorite feature is picking an artist and Pandora picks similar music. I am always pleased with playlist they provide.

8 months ago

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Wayne Young Little Rock, AR

Pandora is a great app to stream music. Even the free version with ads is good to listen to for unlimited amount of time. There are countless channels for any and all genres or time periods. Great to listen to while playing golf!

8 months ago

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Amy Gardiner Germantown, MD

One of my go to streaming services!! Love the different stations --both as a music therapist and music teacher!

2 months ago

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Kurt Lucas Reston, VA

I love using Pandora at the gym, running, and working in the yard. I like that i can get a station around my favorite band.

2 months ago

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Emily Wettstein Pleasant Grove, UT

I like that it finds songs similar to songs you like. I don’t mind listening to adds but I don’t like that there are a limited amount of skips.

2 months ago

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