Personalized Internet Radio

Radio is New Again

If you haven’t yet given Pandora a try, you’re in for a treat. People are wild about this unique music service, and for good reason — Pandora is an Internet radio station that only plays music you love.

How does Pandora do this? It’s based on the Music Genome Project, a sophisticated collection of musical information. Pandora founder (and pianist) Tim Westergren, on right, worked with two friends to create the Music Genome Project in 2000 and it has grown into the most thorough analysis of music ever undertaken.
Each song in the project is analyzed by an actual human musician using up to 400 musical characteristics. Pandora uses this information to create playlists based on musical similarity.

Enter the name of one of your favorite songs or artists, and Pandora quickly scans its database of analyzed music — new and old, well known and completely obscure— to find songs with interesting similarities. Pandora dishes out the tunes, and you sit back and enjoy a customized listening experience. Create as many “stations” as you want and refine them by hitting thumbs up or down on a song.

Whether you want to listen to music you know you already love, find new artists, or just take a break from rambling DJs, Pandora is an experience not to be missed. It’s free, and you can listen to Pandora on your mobile device or share your Pandora stations with friends with MP3-ready speakers like the Orbit Speaker by Altec Lansing. If you enjoyed a good mix tape back in the day, you’ll love Pandora.
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PANDORA Personalized (Free!) Internet Radio
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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Tim

    When was the last time you fell in love with a new artist or song?

    At Pandora, we have a single mission: To help you discover new music you'll love.

    For nine years now, we have been hard at work on the Music Genome Project. It's the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken. Together our team of fifty musician-analysts have been listening to music, one song at a time, studying and collecting literally hundreds of musical details on every song. It takes 20-30 minutes per song to capture all of the little details that give each recording its magical sound - melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics ... and more - close to 400 attributes! We continue this work every day to keep up with the incredible flow of great new music coming from studios, stadiums, and garages around the country.

    We're thrilled to be featured on Daily Grommet today, and we look forward to reading your comments. Thanks!

  • joe
    8/14/2009 1:04 PM

    Wow - thanks for making me understand how easy this is! Been hearing about it for a while.

  • claudia
    8/14/2009 1:40 PM

    I love Pandora, have been a fan for awhile. However, the newest version has constant pop-up ads for downloading ring tunes, etc. Is there a way to turn these ads off?

  • Beth M.
    Beth M.
    8/14/2009 1:44 PM

    This sounds amazing ... so once I enter an artist or a song, will it remember the next time I do to Pandora, or do you start fresh with each session? More importantly, who are the "listeners" and what's their background?? Sounds like such an amazing job (are you hiring?)

  • Aaron B.
    Aaron B.
    8/14/2009 2:06 PM

    I just stopped by to see today's Grommet and, wouldn't you know it, I'm listening to Pandora on my phone right now. I've been using Pandora for years now (kinda scary how long ago college was, at this point) and I've loved every minute of it. Glad to see you all finally getting to monetize a little bit and I'm happy that the web-streaming rates issue finally got worked out. Keep up the good work!

  • Mark
    8/14/2009 2:21 PM

    So I "discovered" Will Dailey on Daily Grommet. Great artist with a really cool sound. I've chosen him as an artist I like on Pandora, and have discovered even more cool artists with great sounds. Grommets building on Grommets...very cool!

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    8/14/2009 2:44 PM

    @Claudia.....I agree the ads are pretty prominent in the Pandora site experience....but I want them to stay in business so I can live with them. The trade-off, for me as a user, is worth it. Let's see if Pandora has a plan to let you turn them off, probably with a subscription fee. That would be really a fair deal.

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    8/14/2009 2:46 PM

    @Mark D....I love your story of discovering Will Dailey and especially your thought about Grommets building on Grommets.

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    8/14/2009 2:49 PM

    @Beth...your artists and their stations get saved permanently. You can add as many as you like. I had Pandora create a Soul/R & B one for me starting with Al Green. Then I did a folk/bluegrass one built on Keb' Mo'.

  • Jeanne
    8/14/2009 4:02 PM

    Hey all. We just heard from @statenjason on Twitter who pointed out that you get 40 hours per month free from Pandora...after that you can pay $0.99 cents to keep listening free for the rest of the month. Or ... you can "start over" on the first of each month with a fresh 40 hours for free. They also have the option of upgrading - and for $3/month, you get unlimited listening time, along with some other pretty cool options - like no ads. We missed that in our research, so thanks @StatenJason.

  • Jill, Founder and Creator
    Jill, Founder and Creator
    8/14/2009 4:08 PM

    I'm a huge fan of Pandora - it's been my saving grace since I started working from home. I've discovered so many new artists that I would never have stumbled across on the radio. Thanks for the terrific free tunes and great recommendations, Pandora!

  • Erin
    8/14/2009 4:45 PM

    Am I the last person to hear about this? I checked it out and can see how addictive this can be. I wish you could put in a couple of artists at once though (but maybe that would confuse things?)

  • Tracy W
    Tracy W
    8/14/2009 4:50 PM

    Wow, what a great service! It really streamlines the process of finding new music.

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    8/14/2009 4:52 PM are not the last person to hear about this....clearly. On your question...once you get going with one artist, and start your station, you can just click "add variety" below the name of your station. Then throw in as many artists as you like. This is actually important to truly customizing the station. I threw in half a dozen for very satisfying results.

  • Erin
    8/14/2009 5:09 PM

    Thanks for clarifying Jules. I didn't notice that, so will dig in now and play around with it over the weekend. Expecting guests ... so much easier than trying to make a playlist!

  • Rob
    8/14/2009 5:12 PM

    I'm a huge fan - so cool to be get a glimpse behind the curtain and see that real people are behind it all. I'm off to check out that band from the video right now.

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    8/14/2009 5:57 PM

    @Rob We knew with this one that half the people at Grommet would know Pandora already, and half not. We wanted to make sure and get the existing fans something extra....which is the tour of the offices by Tim. And Stone Pilot...I loved their sound.

  • Tim
    Tim – Special Guest
    8/15/2009 10:15 AM

    Hi everyone - quick response about the advertising - we do indeed have an ad-free subscription version. It's called PandoraOne and costs $3/month. We're trying to incorporate ads in an elegant way - so as to give advertisers value while not being too disruptive. It's always a balance. T.

  • Jennifer
    Jennifer – Grommet Team
    8/15/2009 10:17 AM

    @Tim- Thanks for the clarification on the advertising. I have to say I have not reached my 40 hour limit yet. I like how it checks in with you and asks over a period of time if you are still listening. The check ins sort of monitor your time and music preference on Pandora. I am addicted!

  • sam
    8/15/2009 10:37 AM

    Hey - thanks DG for pointing me to Pandora. I've heard about this for awhile, but never really got how it worked. I've been digging around and just found the "Make a Gift Station": Just like when I used to make a "mix tape" back in the 80's. Off to make one for my wife since those cassettes are long gone!

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    8/15/2009 12:13 PM

    @Sam....thanks for bringing up the "Make a Gift Station" feature. We had that in our video but it didn't make the cut...we wanted to make sure Blind Pilot got air time instead. It's a terrific feature and takes a heck of a lot less time than making a mix tape.

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    8/15/2009 12:30 PM

    My son says we did not emphasize the mobile app of his favorite features. Jen loves it too...she plugs the portable Altec Lansing speaker we featured a few weeks ago into her iPhone and off she goes. (BB and Palm Pre have one too.)

  • Ally
    8/15/2009 1:47 PM

    I'd love to know how they find out about new groups and artists - do they send in and submit their music directly, or does Pandora go out looking. And how do they pick bands to come play for them at the office? Do they record and release those sessions?

  • Tim
    Tim – Special Guest
    8/16/2009 11:25 AM

    Ally - Submitting music to Pandora is very straightforward, and aside from having a CD available for sale at, there are no pre-requisites - just great music. All the info you need is right here:

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    10/18/2009 8:45 AM

    Really great article on Pandora in today's New York Times. It's written by the ever-sharp Rob Walker.

  • Jeff
    11/7/2009 7:56 AM

    Great discovery Grometeers. I have consolidated all of our family's music onto iTunes...which has allowed us to then share this on several iPod's and iPhones. So why would I like Pandora? Because it allows me to select and artist or genre and then starts to stream several artists that are similar to my selection (including the artist I selected). I can interact with Pandora by saying that I like the songs or not and Pandora starts to learn what I like to better refine the selections. I can then easily build a list of new artists/songs that I like and even connect seamlessly to iTunes to buy these. I listen to Pandora through my Mac...and even my iPhone as they have a great app. Very cool service.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/7/2009 6:57 PM

    Thanks Jeff for taking the time to let us know how you use this service. It's amazing how robust and worthwhile this service is at no/minimal cost.

  • mercy
    8/16/2010 5:30 PM

    dear tim,

    this is so hot! i tell family & friends about it, but though i have an mp3 & a laptop, i haven't ever downloaded music. would you tell me

    how to do this? could i just download to my laptop as my personal radio station?

    help! i love, love , love it & i want it!

    anyway, if you think you can help me, one of my favorite songs is

    "i gotta a feeling" by the blac-eyed peas.

    thanks in advance for any help.


  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    8/16/2010 5:37 PM

    @mercy - you can use it as your personal radio station on your laptop! Go to and create an account. Then you can choose to create a radio station based upon the music of the Black-Eyed Peas. Pandora will play music from the Black Eyed Peas and other similar music. If you like what Pandora has chosen for you you tell it that you like it and it will keep finding similar songs for you! You don't request specific songs, but you are sure to like what Pandora finds for you!

  • dra$tic khalifah
    dra$tic khalifah
    9/18/2011 4:17 PM

    I would like to know how to get my own radio station with pandora and recive royltes from my music can you help me out with that. You may contact me at

    Khalifah Records 1-909-529-1512

    Thank You

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    9/18/2011 11:56 PM

    @dra$tic khalifah: Best of luck to you and your music! Here is a link that explains the process to have your music considered for inclusion on Pandora:

  • Sebastian Hoffman
    Sebastian Hoffman
    3/6/2012 7:54 PM

    but how can we have our own station on Pandora?

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    3/6/2012 11:54 PM

    @Sebastian Hoffman: If you're looking to create a radio station featuring a certain artist, song or composer, go this link to get more details: Enjoy!

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.