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Online Streaming Radio: More Than 200 Million People Open Pandora’s Box

The introduction of the internet has changed the way we listen to music, and a few enterprising individuals have embraced this new form of music distribution. Pandora Radio is the brainchild of Tim Westergren who first launched the automated recommendation service in 2005. A mere 8 years later and the service now boasts over 200 million users, and is fast becoming the number one internet radio service. Pandora allows users to enjoy a unique music experience, and encourages them to rate the songs they hear in order to provide a better service.

Online Streaming Radio

Online Streaming Radio: More Than 200 Million People Open Pandora’s Box

How It Works

Pandora Online Streaming Radio works by asking users to select their favorite artists and playing a selection of songs based on that musical genre. The user can give a ‘thumbs up’ to the songs they like, or a ‘thumbs down’ to any that fail to impress. The service will then keep a record of the users choices, and then use these to make further recommendations. Users are also given the option to buy songs at online music stores, and the service can be accessed through smartphones and other handheld devices. It is currently only available in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, but founder Tim Westergren hopes to take it to a global audience in the near future.

An Online Success

Pandora Online Streaming Radio was first conceptualized by Westergren and two other original founding members. Operating under the name Savage Beast Technologies, the venture struggled to achieve initial success and came close to failing completely. After receiving funding from Walden Venture Capital’s Larry Marcus, the company hired new staff and changed its name to Pandora Media. Pandora radio launched on July 21, 2005, and is now worth well over $2 billion.

What’s Next?

Trying to access Pandora outside of the US and Australia is currently forbidden, and international users who attempt to use the service are met with an apology and a promise to update them when it becomes available in their country. As well as plans to expand the service, developers are constantly working on improving mobile versions of the site, and it is currently available to download on iTunes, Google Android OS, and Windows Mobile. Users must be connected to the internet in order to access the service, and those wishing to experience the site can search for internet providers by zip code.
Over 1 million users have registered for the service within the last two years, and 140 million of Pandora’s users access the site through mobile devices. The company behind the service is currently involved in a court case regarding royalty payments to artists, and recently purchased a radio station in an attempt to circumvent music copyright laws. Despite the controversy, Pandora is arguably the most popular online radio source, and streams over 200 million songs before 10am every day. It currently has almost 70 million active monthly users, and has shown steady growth ever since it first burst onto the scene. Loyal users can access many different features within the service such as regular podcasts, and an ad-free version is available for $36 per year.

Author Bio: Lillian McCray is a music junkie. She loves to share her favorite news stories on music and technology blogs.

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