The internet music gurus at Pandora have made some drastic changes to the service. Pandora’s site was redesigned recently including changes to the color scheme and the advertising layout. Also, Pandora announced that its service is expanding to mobile phones and to the home.
For those of you who have never heard of Pandora, let me give you a brief introduction. Pandora is the genius work of the Music Genome Project. The site is an automated music recommendation and radio service which learns your music tastes as you give songs either a “thumbs up” or a “thumbs down.” Pandora uses over 400 musical attributes to focus your playlist to your tastes, and it does a wonderful job. Unfortunately, Pandora is no longer available in most countries outside of the US and the UK, but petitions are being circulated (SIGN!) to encourage a change in these restrictions.
Pandora has changed the site layout within the last few days. Among the major changes you will notice are a new color scheme, new graphics and new drop down menus. The other major change has been on the advertising side of things. The advertisements on the Pandora page now take up the whole page. That may sound bad, but they have actually managed to advertise in a noticeable but unobtrusive way. The page border will match the color of the ad, giving the Pandora page a new advertising personality each time you visit.
Recently on the Pandora Blog, we were introduced to the Pandora Everywhere Platform. This new system allows the use of Pandora on any device, in any music format and over any network. This expansion will happen in steps, and 2 offerings have already been announced. Pandora for Sprint Mobile and Pandora for Sonos are available now. Pandora for Sprint is already available on 5 phones, and expect at least 5 more within the next month. Pandora for Sonos is available for home users with the Sonos system at a cost of $3 per month.
I can’t hide my love for Pandora. Pandora is one of those websites that you can recommend to a friend one day, and then hear them calling and recommending it to their friends the very next day. I have no problem with advertisements on sites like Pandora. I want this service to thrive, and a workable advertising scheme is the only way for that to happen. For those who cannot stand the advertising, Pandora does offer a fee based service. Pandora’s mobile phone and home based offerings will be really fun for those of you who have the equipment necessary to give them a try.