What is Pandora?
Pandora is an automated music player/music recommend-er site. Pandora is a browser only program, which one goes to by typing Pandora and either opening the first link or having your browser take you directly to the Pandora page. Pandora is a program in which the user types in a song, artist, composer or genre into the search bar and then Pandora will start to play music that it thinks is similar in taste to the information you provided. It tends to be extremely accurate and has a very healthy range of music. Pandora has a ranking system that helps to either increase the frequency of songs you like, or to potentially ban songs you don't like from ever playing again. It is a very streamlined website, and could be considered idiot proof.

Pandora is not yet a profitable business posting $138 Million in revenue but a $1.8 Million loss1. However it is showing signs towards becoming profitable in the near future. Since its inception it has gained more songs and a larger user base that has seen a rise in profits. The company is worth nearly $2.6 billion dollars including all of its assets2. Making one of the largest internet radio companies out there.

Types of Accounts
There are two types of Pandora accounts, paid and unpaid. Paid users pay a nominal $.99 fee, and as such get access to unlimited songs, unlimited skips, and have no advertisements. Unpaid users have to listen to advertisements every once in a while and only have 6 skips/down votes. Originally unpaid users only had 40 hours per week they could listen to. This limit has now been removed3.

Strengths and Weaknesses
Pandora has a wide range of music, a strong selection device and a good method of upvoting and downvoting songs one likes or dislikes. It is idiot proof, and usually gets the job done. It has many weaknesses though, it is a bandwidth hog, it isn't very attractive and there is no way to specifically select songs. This can be an extreme pain if one wants to listen to a specific song, but for brain free/thoughtless listening it proves to be one of the best radio stations out there.

The future of Pandora is bright. It is continually making money, and has added many artists since its inception. In the future I would say the primary goals of Pandora should be to:

  • Update the look of their website.
  • Reduce the bandwidth it takes.
  • Continue to add to its database.
  • Further update its song choosing algorithm.
  • If they are lucky, allow some sort of song choosing mechanism (albeit with a limited number of song choices)

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