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Pandora Music - All You Need To Know

Photograph of the blog post author, Joelle Banton

Joelle Banton

20.8.2020

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There are quite a few music streaming services nowadays from Apple music to Amazon music to Spotify. But which ones are best and worth your money? Throughout this article, I’ll be reviewing Pandora Music in the hope of giving you some insight as to whether this is the streaming service for you!

What Is Pandora Music?

pandora music logo

Pandora Radio (also known as Pandora Music) powered by the Music Genome Project is one of the leading platforms to discover new music and podcasts. Millions of subscribers use this American Music streaming platform every month as its automated recommendation internet radio service allows users to find new music based on their tastes. Random songs are played and the user gives them a thumbs up or down. Based on the feedback given, Pandora Radio then uses this data to provide a better listening experience. Because of this automated system, Pandora Music is great for aspiring artists who want their music heard by the right audience. But how does Pandora operate? How do you actually get your music on to Pandora Radio? And is it even worth it? 

Brief Background Of Pandora Music 

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Will Glaser, Jon Kraft, and Tim Westergren founded Pandora Media LLC was founded in Oakland, California in 2000. It was taken over by Sirius XM Holdings in 2019. Pandora Radio can be accessed online or through the app. Behind Pandora’s automated system is the Genome music project. This algorithm used over 450 attributes to describe, organise, and categorise music. Pandora originally operated by licensing technology to companies such as AOL. As well as the change in name and business strategy, the way users pay for Pandora has also changed. The streaming platform began as a fee-paying service but it now operates as a free advertiser-sponsored service. Or you can pay a monthly subscription to have ads removed. 

How Is Pandora Radio Different?

pandora internet radio

Pandora radio differs in many ways from traditional stations. This internet radio station relies on automated software. Many Pandora subscribers discover new music when searching for a particular artist. When this happens, algorithms embedded within the Music Genome Project present users with similar types of music. The way in which Pandora radio delivers personalised music and podcasts based on data is what makes this service different. Examples of the hundreds of attributes that go into forming focus traits include vocal harmonies, rhythm syncopation, and key tonality. Since launching in 2005, Pandora radio has grown from having roughly 50,000 songs to over 1 million. 

Is Pandora A Streaming Service?

In essence, it is a streaming service. The standard version of Pandora is a non-interactive streaming radio-like experience and operates very similarly to other music streaming services. 

Streaming Features 

Most Pandora music users uncover new music through tuning in to one of Pandoras’ existing music genre stations or other Pandora users’ stations. Users can also create their own stations based on the music they like listening to which others can tune into. 

Based on how users interact with certain songs, i.e. skipping or replaying, radio Pandora changes. For example, if you give a song a thumbs up, Pandora will suggest similar songs based on these likes. If you dislike a certain song or give it a thumbs down, similar songs will be removed from the random selection. A second thumbs down on a track from a particular artist will completely remove the artist from this selection. Users can also alter their Pandora Radio settings to display or filter out explicit content.

How Much Does Pandora Music Cost?

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There are three tiers to Pandora Music. Pandora Free is completely without charge to sign up however there are ads that break up the songs.

Then the next variation is Pandora Plus, costing $4.99 a month. With a Pandora Plus subscription, subscribers can replay an unlimited number of tracks an infinite amount of times. This subscription also allows users to subscribe to up to 4 different radio stations. 

The third option is Pandora Premium at $9.99 a month. This gives users access to unlimited playlists at a much higher audio quality. Additional features include; downloading music and listening to music offline.

Pandora Premium

In early 2017 Pandora launched Pandora Premium. This allows subscribers to listen to an unlimited amount of songs and create personalised playlists. Plus the standard streaming features, Pandora Premium also creates unique playlists for subscribers. 

Pandora Radio Vs Other Music Streaming Services

By now you’re probably wondering which music streaming platform is the best. Although Pandora Radio might not be as widespread as Spotify or Apple Music, it was one of the first music discovery platforms on the market.

Unlike Apple Music and Tidal, the basic version of Pandora Radio is free. If you are after a budget-friendly music streaming platform, definitely consider downloading Pandora Music. 

Pandora is always on the hunt for music that hasn’t reached the mainstream music scene, it’s much better to discover new music. Although platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music allow users to do the same, these platforms are more suited to downloading and sharing known music. Pandora’s Music Genome Project, analysing each song based on hundreds of attributes, is the services unique advantage.

Despite Pandora’s unique approach behind music suggestions, it does have a few drawbacks compared to other streaming platforms. Its audio quality, even with a premium subscription, is relatively low (192Kbps). It’s difficult to listen to pandora radio outside of the US and the incentives for users who pay are limited. 

How To Get Your Music On Pandora?

pandora music website

Thinking about putting your music on Pandora Radio? The curation team at Pandora Radio Music is always searching for fresh and underground talent. It is this reason that leads to many aspiring artists submitting their music to Pandora. The first step to getting your music on Pandora is by creating an account. After setting this up, artists can access and submit a music submission form.

Make sure you have all of your key details about your music to hand. This includes; links to purchase music (i.e. on Amazon, Bandcamp, and iTunes), type of release, information about the label you’re signed to and UPC code data. During this process, you can also submit any additional information about the track you wish to upload. It usually takes about 2-3 weeks to get a reply from Pandora music about your music submission. If you haven’t heard anything back after this time period, you should follow up. 

If you want your music to appear on Pandora Premium, Pandora Plus and Pandora radio you will need to use a licensed media distributor such as Tunecore, RouteNote, or CD baby

How To Earn Money From Pandora Radio

After you have successfully landed your music on any version of Pandora, you’ll want to get paid! As Pandora inhibits both a fully interactive streaming platform and a radio platform that’s not interactive, even getting one track on Pandora can generate a few different streams of revenues. A few different royalties can be earnt, however, how much money this is, will depend on a few factors i.e. how the music was uploaded to Pandora. 

Without A Distributor

Independent artists who choose to only upload music to Pandora Radio without using a distributor or partner receive a larger portion of their royalties. There isn’t much information on how much a musician makes per stream. It’s said to be around $0.00133 – $0.003 per stream. 

With A Distributor

Most of the music industry operates by paying royalties and Pandora Music is no different. If you choose to upload your music to Pandora Radio and Pandora Premium and Plus using a distributor through a licensing deal, you will receive a smaller portion of your digital royalties. Having your music played on the fee-based version will gain more streams, so it’s worth partnering a music distributor. 

When your music is played, royalties are paid to the distributor. The distributor will divide these payments between the songwriters and publishers after taking a percentage. These royalties are through P.R.O or the publisher. A percentage of the royalties is paid to labels, producers, and supporting musicians who are paid through the distribution partner or SoundExchange.

If you are unsure about how royalties work, we have our royalties calculator here at Music Gateway to help. Also, check out our blog on how to get your music on Pandora Radio to find out more.

Final Thoughts On Pandora Music

pandora music app

The Pandora music platform is great for both artists and music listeners. As many users turn to Pandora to search for new and fresh music, it is a great way to get to your music out there and heard by people who actually want to listen to your music. 

Before you submit your music to Pandora or approach a distributor about getting your music the platform, ensure you pick high-quality tracks that represent the type of artist you are clearly. Also, make sure the links you have for purchasing/downloading your music and the social media accounts that promote your music are all up to date. Factors like this will be crucial in helping you land multiple songs on Pandora Radio and a good licensing deal with a distributor. 

Another thing you should keep in mind is the time it will take to see royalty earnings in your bank account. Royalty payments filter through a few channels before it actually reaches the artist. To make a decent living, your music needs to be streamed hundreds of thousands of times for artists. Don’t feel disheartened though. Pandora has over 60.93 million monthly active users, all searching for new music to fall in love with, so once your tracks end up on a personalised radio station and/or playlist, you will start to see the money rolling in!

Interested in learning more about the music industry? Check out our blog. If you’re an artist, you can collaboratestore your music and find opportunities to make money from it, all under one roof on our platform! Try it out for yourself for free. Our 14-day free trial should give you the time to try everything out for yourself with no strings attached!



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