Opinion

Pandora Radio is back in Australia

pandoraA little piece of joy at Mumbrella House this morning.

Pandora Radio is back.

Overnight, founder Tim Westergren emailed Pandora’s former Australian subscribers with the good news that after five years, it was returning.

Which is going to make the battle of the music streaming services even more interesting.

For me, this was always the service to beat.

You tell it a few tracks you like, and it builds a radio station around your tastes.

I’m delighted (and slightly freaked out by the way that the internet forgets nothing) to see that Whole Of The Moon radio is fully intact and hasn’t even gathered dust.

The Killers, The Smiths and The Beatles were the first three welcome choices it threw at me. Right now, I hear the first few bars of Sympathy For The Devil (happy 50th anniversary for Thursday, boys) rising.

Actually, at first impression, either the catalogue has widened or the algorithm has improved. Last time round – until that painful day in 2007 when they switched off the service in Australia for contractual reasons – I began to get the distinct impression that Pandora thought I only listened to the Ramones.

Since then of course we’ve seen the likes of Rdio, Spotify, Vevo and Telstra’s MOG, with more on the way.

The question of course will be, how many of those will make it.

Pandora’s business model for Australia appears to be mainly around persuading subscribers to upgrade from the free service to the higher streaming quality of Pandora One for $3.99 a month or $36 a year. If there’s no local ad push, then returning to Australia would appear to be a low cost play for Pandora compared to some of its rivals.

pandora letter tim westergren

Once again, Pandora will be the one to beat.

Tim Burrowes

 

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