By: Nick Gambino
There was a time in recent memory when Pandora was the go-to music platform for those unwilling to buy music or download it illegally. At its best, it provided access to your favorite tunes or opened your eyes to new music. At its worst, it was glorified radio.
Then something unexpected happened (or if you know the tech world – something predictable) Pandora got “Myspaced” by Spotify. I’m referring of course to the way Facebook de-crowned and dethroned the once colossal Myspace.
Though Spotify’s emergence on the scene and subsequent conquest was a lot less bloody, and somehow Pandora has maintained its place amongst the top music streaming services. In fact, numbers suggest Spotify has not surpassed the number of users Pandora reports, but they are expected to by 2021. To give you an idea of their dominance, Spotify has added somewhere around 60 million active users in 7 years where Pandora has only added 5 million.
The OG music streaming service doesn’t plan to go out without a fight. Pandora, which is now owned by SiriusXM, has announced a redesign and almost complete revamp of their app that has started rolling out to all users.
The new app focuses on personalization and highlighting their on-demand content. These are the features that have made Spotify so popular in recent years and Pandora knows in order to survive they need a lot more than just the “radio” options that made them what they are.
“This campaign captures the excitement we see when our users open the new Pandora app and discover that the listening experience they’ve always loved is now even bigger, better, and more in tune with the things they love and the way they live,” Chief Marketing Officer for SiriusXM and Pandora, Denise Karkos, said in a press release.
Like many other apps, Pandora now includes a “For You” section that features a personalized discovery feed updated every day with curated music and podcasts. This seems to be a direct competitor to the Your Daily Mix playlists in Spotify.
Other features include Pandora Modes allowing you to customize your stations and a “simplified navigation interface for greater ease of use.”
While Pandora has a lot of work ahead of them to stay relevant in the face of stiff competition from Spotify and Apple Music, they still have over 70 million active users and brand recognition.