One company that seems to have taken that lesson to heart is Pandora, which after nearly ten years of struggle has hit its stride and is growing at a rapid clip. Today, the company announced it has 60 million users registered to be listeners of the personalized online radio service. Pandora was helped by the popularity of the iPhone, and since then it has become the-music-service-to-embed in various consumer electronics devices.
Thanks to more connected devices, Pandora is growing at a healthy pace. It ended 2009 with 43 million listeners. On April 1, 2010 that number had grown to 50 million. In less than three months, it has added 10 million new listeners. Pandora's chief technology officer, Tom Conrad once told me that going beyond the web has opened new opportunities for the company — and the numbers seem to back up that statement. Conrad told us that currently the web accounts for 20 percent of total radio listening, which means Pandora needs to expand beyond just the browser if it wants to go after "80 percent of the opportunity."
Pandora is clearly taking advantage of the growth of internet-connected devices. And what's more interesting is that smart and forward-looking companies such as Netflix and Skype are thinking along these lines as well.
Source: GigaOM - By Om Malik Jul. 21, 2010, 5:00pm
Iamthereforeipad Editor notes:
Every since Pandora was released, I have been a fan and listener. Many of the staff at my job have migrated to Pandora instead on listening to traditional radio. Those who still listen to radio programming, do so from the radio's streaming web sites. I personally do not listen to much radio. I prefer to listen to Pandora for my music and podcasts for learning. My favor podcasting tool is Stitcher Radio which is an iPhone app and website that allow you to stitch podcasts together to basically create your own radio based on content you want to hear instead of what a radio station thinks you want to hear. The Stitcher app works on the iPad, but has not yet been optimized for the iPad.
While I have always loved Pandora, I have never liked being chained to the desktop to enjoy it. Pandora has offered a few 3rd party devices that allows non-desktop streaming for a few years now, but they were cost prohibited because they were primary a single purpose device. Obviously people would prefer to listen on devices that they routinely carry instead of a single purposed and expensive device like a Chumby. ( http://www.pandora.com/in-the-home ).
When I changed phone from the Treo smartphone to the Palm Pre, I was delighted to have Pandora available on my mobile device. When I purchased my iPod Touch, Pandora streamed with me. Now on my iPad, I listen to Pandora often, though less since iPhone OS 3.2.1 un-Jailbroke my iPad and removed my multitasking function.
Of all the people in my office, only one person that I know of has upgraded to Pandora One. This same person was interested in getting a Chumby, but she also expressed interest in the iPad, so I told her to get the iPad because plays Pandora and does a whole lot more. The paid services removes the monthly listening limit that the normal free service imposes. Additionally, it removes the ads from the interface and streams. As much as I listen to it, I have never reached the monthly limit, but I am not chained to a desk like they are. Others simply switch to other streaming services like Jango or Last.fm when they reach their listening limit.
Pandora is a great service that I enjoy listening to. I have created several stations that allows me to set any mood I desire. My only complaint, which transcends to my limited radio listening times as well, is that it is close to impossible to find kid friendly listening opportunities. I wish they would provide presets to kid friendly songs or stations. I am not one of the parents who let's they kids listen to filth just because it is "popular" to do so or because it is the only thing available to listen to.
When I drive, I listen to my own choice of music or audio content via my iPod Touch or my iPad. I can hook up a audio cable from my device to my radio or use Bluetooth to do so because i have a power inverter in my vehicle, I can bring my standard charging adapter along so draining batteries are not an issue. I also do not listen to adult-themed stations while driving with the kids. I hear so many inappropriate songs playing from automobiles filled with kids. Why are these parents so selfish? Maybe they don't know of other solutions for bring their own listening content on the road.
Carl W. Brooks
The Tech Guy
Sent from my Magical and Revolutionary iPad