Pandora is Now Offering a Free Service

Received the following email today from Tim Westergren of Pandora. Although I didn’t get as much time to try Pandora when it was in it’s free trial period (I kind of lost myself in Flickr there for about two months), I was impressed with what I saw initially.

The recommendation service essentially allows you to enter in artists that you like and then it begins serving you up streaming music tracks of other tracks that it thinks you might like based on your artist choice. You can skip tracks, listen to tracks, etc.

It seems like a useful tool for finding new music and somthing that would make for a great addition to Media Center, especially now that they appear to be out with a free ad supported version to complement their paid subscription service.

Anyways, here’s Tim’s email:

This email arrives at your doorstep after much internal debate at Pandora. We were torn between abiding by our earlier promise to never email you again, while also wanting to at least let you know about a very significant change in our service. We hope you don’t mind.

Thanks in large part to all of the great feedback we received during the preview, we have had an incredibly successful public launch. The sheer volume of new listeners has led us to accelerate our timetable and release Pandora Version 2 today.

In addition to many new features (bookmarking, station editing, playlist improvements, etc.), Pandora v2.0 includes a free, ad-supported version. Listeners have the choice to subscribe and stay clear of ads, or use the free service, which will gradually incorporate advertising. What does this mean for you? You can now come back and listen to Pandora as much as you’d like for free–and all the stations you’ve created remain intact.

This has been a magical few months for all of us here at the company. The enthusiasm and support from our early listeners has been nothing short of overwhelming. Thanks again for being one of our very first listeners.

Tim Westergren
Pandora Media