The service focuses on recommendations based on the "Music Genome Project," a way of classifying individual songs by musical characteristics. The service was initially launched in the consumer market as an Internet radio service that will create personalized channels based on these characteristics and the songs that the user likes; this service is available on an ad-supported level and in a subscription-based version. In 2017, the service launched Pandora Premium , an on-demand version of the service more in line with today's competitors.
The company was founded in 2000 as Savage Beast Technologies and was originally conceived as a business company licensing the Music Genome Project to retailers as a recommendation platform . In 2005, the company shifted its focus to the consumer market, launching Pandora as an Internet radio product.
Pandora is a Freemium service; basic features are free with ads or restrictions, while additional features such as enhanced streaming, music downloads and offline channels are offered through paid subscriptions. In 2021, Pandora had about 55.9 million monthly active users and 6.4 million subscribers. In February 2019, Sirius XM Holdings acquired Pandora for $3.5 billion in stock.
Early Century History In 2000, Will Glaser, John Kraft and Tim Westergren founded a company called Savage Beast Technologies. Will Glaser developed the concept of classifying music by various attributes and attributes, an effort he later called the "Music Genome Project. The company was originally positioned as an e-commerce service that would use Glaser's linked algorithm as a recommendation mechanism, but that idea was abandoned after the dot-com bubble peaked in March 2000. retailers such as AOL Music and Best Buy (which used it in in-store kiosks as a trial version).
The company faced mounting debt and by 2001 had exhausted its initial funding of $2 million. Glaser, Kraft and Westergren then convinced 50 Savage Beast employees to work for two years without pay, triggering a lawsuit by former employees in 2003 over deferred wages. is illegal under California law.
After the lawsuit was settled, only a few employees were fired. In 2004, thanks to the success of Best Buy's pilot project, Walden Venture Capital led an $8 million funding round and hired Joe Kennedy, a former Saturn automaker, as its new CEO. After its agreements with Best Buy and Borders expired, the company began to shift its focus to the consumer market, leading to the development of Pandora as an Internet radio service using the Music Genome Project as its personalization system.
After a period of beta testing, Pandora officially launched in September 2005. It was a subscription-based service after launch, but an ad-supported free version was added in November after Westergren realized that users were abusing the 10-hour free trial by creating new e-mail addresses. The ads can also be customized to target the current song.
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