Pandora is now live in Australia and New Zealand with a personalised radio service that can now be accessed via smartphone apps for iOS and Android devices, in addition to the Web-based player.
Pandora offers the a personalised radio experience, allowing listeners to easily create stations based on their musical tastes across hundreds of genres. Personalised stations are powered by “thumbs,” which fine-tune each listener’s stations, and the Music Genome Project, a richly detailed taxonomy of more than a million tracks, each of which has been manually analysed by a trained musician along hundreds of musical “DNA” traits. This database, more than a decade in the making, represents the music of over 100,000 artists, the majority of whom are independent.
As part of Pandora’s commitment to personalisation for local listeners, Pandora has curated genre stations of Australian- and New Zealand-specific music across a variety of genres including today’s hits, singer-songwriter, roots and reggae dub, indigenous, classic pub rock and more. These genre stations complement Pandora’s vast catalogue ranging from jazz, blues and classical to pop, punk, reggae, electronica and everything in between.
Pandora Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Tim Westergren said, “After years of preparation and anticipation we are absolutely thrilled to fully launch Pandora internationally in Australia and New Zealand. Personalised radio is a wonderful medium for listeners to enjoy music they know and discover music they’ll love. Now we begin the incredibly exciting process of connecting the 100,000-plus working musicians in the Pandora catalogue with millions of new listeners. What an amazing opportunity.”
Of Pandora’s 175 million registered users in the U.S., more than 115 million have accessed the smartphone apps. Today, more than 75 percent of listening occurs on mobile, making Pandora a global leader in mobile app downloads, usage and engagement. This is especially important in Australia and New Zealand, which are among the world’s most mobile-centric societies.
As Westergren noted, “With the huge number of mobile device users in Australia and New Zealand, we anticipate fast adoption of our free mobile apps that allow people to listen to their personalised stations on the go, wherever they are.”
Why Pandora is unique
Pandora brings simplicity and ease of use to listeners who don’t have the time or desire to manually curate their playlists. With just the name of a favourite song or artist, a listener is launched into hours of completely personalised listening, full of songs they love and new songs to discover. Pandora represents more than 400 genres of music and comedy and offers hundreds of curated genre stations to appeal to their inner pop, country, jazz, or dubstep fan.
Westergren elaborated, “Pandora combines the unique power of the Music Genome Project with an incredible trove of listener feedback in the form of over 22 billion ‘thumbs’ up and down delivered contextually on individual stations. Together these form a personalisation engine that combines great predictive capabilities with a steady stream of discovery. This is not only valuable to listeners but also represents an unprecedented opportunity for tens of thousands of talented, emerging artists to find their audiences."
The company has hired a local Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand, Jane Huxley, who brings more than 20 years of executive experience in the digital media, technology and consumer spaces. Most recently, she spent five years at the helm of digital for Fairfax Media where she was responsible for leading the company’s product, mobile, video and online business strategies and driving growth in the business through development, acquisition and talent management.
“I feel as though I’ve stumbled upon music’s greatest secret and I can’t wait for Australians and New Zealanders to enjoy music in the Pandora way. The service has certainly changed the way people have consumed and enjoyed music in America for the last 12 years, and I’m looking forward to seeing its adoption in Australia and New Zealand,” Huxley said. “This version of Pandora has been built specifically for Australians and New Zealanders and we are going to be all about bringing the best music experience of local and international artists as well as supporting local musicians. It’s an honour for me to be able to introduce Australians and New Zealanders to Pandora. My focus for the coming year will be to grow the audience for this great new medium as fast as I can.”
Holden will be the first car company in Australia and New Zealand to offer full compatibility with Pandora via its new Holden MyLink infotainment system. Debuting in the new Barina CDX, Holden MyLink offers in-car smartphone connectivity that allows control of supported information and entertainment apps. In the first quarter of next year, drivers will be able to use Pandora while on the move to stream music, control radio station choices and access track information on a large easy-to-use touch screen.