Pandora have introduced ‘Browse’ a feature that serves you up artists and stations you’re already interested in as well as aiding your discovery of new ones.
Pandora’s new feature looks to not only improve the music streaming’s service, but also to rival frontrunners Spotify whose discovery features, such as Discover Weekly, have won them a lot of dedicated users. Unfortunately the new feature is currently only available on iPhone’s in the US, Australia, and New Zealand however an Android version is reportedly coming “soon”.
Pandora’s chief product officer, Chris Phillips said: “Finding new music should be a simple and enjoyable experience. The new Browse feature makes it easy to find the music you love, whether you know what you want or need a little help discovering music you didn’t know existed.”
Up until now personalisation on Pandora has featured specific artists and songs based on a users thumbs up and down on tracks. Now with Browse personalised recommendations will be extended to stations. Phillips added: “Sometimes you have no clue what you want to listen to and based off of your musical tastes, we can now recommend artist, genre, or mood based stations that we know you’ll love as a result of all your thumbs.”
Browse also introduces new analytics data so that you can see how many people listen to your favourite artists or subscribe to individual stations. This will also help Pandora themselves as it easily shows what artist, genre, mood etc. is trending and helps them make recommendations based on that.
Browse isn’t the only addition to Pandora as their mobile app has had a re-design to keep it in line with the simple navigation of competitors and to improve it’s discovery capabilities with simpler music browsing. With the new design listeners can easily look at what’s playing by tapping the screen, ideal for their new discovery playlists. It also features a new menu which you can bring out from the top left corner of the screen and show you Stations, Your Feed, Profile, and Settings. Artist pages have also been designed to be more intuitive and provide a nicer aesthetic.
Phillips said of the design: “Simplicity is a feature. The mobile app refresh that accompanies Browse elevates simplicity so that the addition of Browse doesn’t disorient listeners or crowd the experience. Moving the navigation to the fly-out menu makes room for the mini player, which we feel is essential while Browsing. But in the process we were careful to be sure that navigation remains strictly optional – any listener can play music, change stations, search and discover new music without having to navigate.”
These new features come two months after Pandora acquired Rdio to use it’s assets in their own music streaming service. Although Phillips denied they used Rdio’s technology to assist their new Browse feature he did say: “We do see tremendous opportunities to unlock the combined value of Ticketfly, Next Big Sound, and Rdio in our listener products.”