Timeline of Pandora Radio

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This is a timeline of Pandora Radio, a music streaming and automated music recommendation service. Founded in 2000 as the Music Genome Project, Pandora uses algorithms and user feedback to generate music recommendations for its listeners.[1]

Big picture

Time period Development summary
2000–2004 First period of Pandora, starting as Savage Beast Technologies, with the vision to provide software to help people buy more music in music stores. However, at the turn of the century, it is already a dying business.[2][3]
2004–2008 Pandora Radio is created, after Larry Marcus of Walden Venture Capital recapitalizes the business and scraps the Business-to-business model with the idea of bringing music directly to the consumer through personalized Internet-based radio.[3]
2008< Pandora app period, beginning right after the release of the iPhone App Store. Pandora would grow to be the second most popular iPhone app.[3]

Full timeline

Year Month and date Event type Details
2000 January Foundation Pandora Media Inc. begins as Savage Beast Technologies, and is founded by Will Glaser, Jon Kraft and Tim Westergren.[4][5] with the idea of creating a separate, individualized radio station for each user, with music that the user prefers without music that he or she does not prefer.[3]
2000 March 2 Funding Pandora anounces its first funding round, aising US$ 1.5 million.[6]
2001 Funding Pandora quickly runs through its initial $2 million in funding, running out of money by 2001. Unwilling to give up, Pandora’s founder Tim Westergren convinces his 50 employees to work 2 years without pay.[7]
2004  ? Service Pandora launches as an online radio service.[8]
2004 January 1 Funding Pandora receives US$ 7.8 million in Series B funding round, with Walden Venture Capital, Selby Venture Partners, Robert Kavner, Peter Gotcher, Marcus and Labrador Ventures as investors.[9]
2004 December 15 Funding Pandora receives US$ 7.7 million in funding round, with Walden Venture Capital as lead investor.[10]
2005 November 21 Funding Pandora receives US$ 12 million in Series C funding round, with Walden Venture Capital, Selby Venture Partners, Labrador Ventures, Hearst Ventures and Crosslink Capital as investors.[11][12]
2006 May 3 TechCrunch reports that Pandora Media unveiled its new community influenced playlist feature to its 1.8 million users.[13]
2006 July 1 Funding Pandora announces Series D funding round, with Piper Jaffray Private Capital Group, Hearst Ventures, and Bay Area Equity Fund as investors.[14]
2006 August Recognition Time Magazine selects Pandora as one of its “50 Coolest Websites 2006.”[13][15]
2006 August 10 Recognition Pandora Media is featured in the San Francisco Chronicle as the "best place to discover new music".[13]
2006 November Recognition Fortune Magazine cites Pandora Radio as "the most efficient new-music discovery mechanism".[13]
2007 May Recognition Pandora receives the 2007 "Red Herring 100 North America" award.[16]
2007 May 27 Recognition PC World names Pandora one of "The 100 Best Products of 2007".[16]
2007 June Recognition Pandora wins in the Media category in CNet’s first “Webware 100” awards.[16]
2007 September Wired Magazine's Bog Network reports that Hewlett-Packard's upcoming laptop and desktop computers will ship with the Pandora internet radio service via the Windows start menu or an IE bookmark, allowing buyers of those machines to start enjoying Pandora's free, customizable, artist-based music stations.[16]
2007 November 27–28 Pandora is featured in Doonesbury cartoons.[16]
2007 November AT&T Communications adds Pandora’s personalized Internet radio service to its wireless network, available from select AT&T mobile phones.[16]
2007  ? The Copyright Royalty Board rules that performance royalties should rise from US$0.08 cents per song, per listener in 2006 to US$0.19 cents in 2010.[8]
2008 May Partnership A new partnership is reported between Pandora and Clear Channel, the largest operator of terrestrial radio stations in the United States.[17]
2008 July 10 Service A major growth spurt begins when Pandora becomes the first internet radio service (and first free music app) to be included at the launch of the Apple app store.[8]
2008 October Chumby device adds Pandora Radio as an option under the Music menu.[17]
2008 October Pandora services become available on Samsung's Blu-ray DVD Players.[17]
2008 October Growth Pandora user base grows to 16 million.[8]
2008  ? Pandora already pays about 70 percent of its revenue in royalty fees.[18]
2008 December Pandora releases a Windows Mobile client for the HTC Touch and the Motorola Q9c handsets to complement its offering on the iPhone and their J2ME application for standard AT&T and Sprint feature phones.[17]
2008 December Pandora hits 20 million registered users.[19]
2009 March Pandora becomes available on Vudu and represents its first music application.[20]
2009 March Pandora launches on BlackBerry for phones running BlackBerry OS 4.3 or better.[20]
2009 April Growth Pandora is installed by 21% of Apple app users.[8]
2009 May Service Pandora announces the launch of Pandora One, an ad-free, premium version of Pandora’s streaming music service (and for the first time, desktop application) available to listeners for a $36 per year subscription.[20][21]
2009 July 10 Funding Pandora receives US$ 35 million in new VC funding, with Greylock Partners and GGV Capital as investors.[22][23][24][25][26][27]
2009 July Growth Pandora registered users now exceeds 30 million in the United States.[20]
2009 October Recognition Pandora receives accolades from Gizmodo as one of “The Best” applications for the Android (Google mobile) platform.[20][28]
2009 October Service Pandora launches station sharing and gifting via Facebook and Twitter.[20][29]
2009  ? Growth Pandora gets 22 million users. The hours of music listened to on the service reaches 1 billion hours in the fiscal year.[30]
2010 Early Pandora announces the development of an automotive protocol whereby the Pandora app runs on a smartphone but is played through the car stereo system and controlled through the dashboard display or voice-recognition system.[8]
2010 March Growth Pandora passes the 50 million registered user mark and announces newly designed app for iPad.[31]
2010 May Recognition Tim Westergren, Pandora’s founder, is named Time magazine’s 2010 Time 100 list of people who most affect our world.[32][33]
2010 January Growth Pandora adds about 85,000 new users per day–up from about 30,000 before the launch of the iPhone app.[8]
2010 June 2 Funding Pandora raises undisclosed amount of funding in round led by GGV Capital, with additional investment from Allen & Company.[34]
2010  ? Growth Pandora's registered users grow to 46 million. The hours of music listened to on the service reaches 2.1 billion hours in the fiscal year.[30] With the fast growth in Pandora's users, costs from royalties skyrocket as the airtime being streamed increases, potentially outpacing growth in advertising revenue.[8]
2011 Early Partnership Pandora develops relationships with automakers including Toyota, Ford Motor, General Motors, Mercedes–Benz, and MINI (the BMW Group), as well as car stereo manufacturers including Alpine and Pioneer, to integrate Pandora into their automotive multimedia systems.[8]
2011 January Growth Pandora Media has over 80 million registered users, making it the largest internet radio service by a wide margin, with average active sessions of 642,614 against 168,410 for CBS Radio, the next largest service (which includes AOL and Yahoo Radio), and 33,894 for Slacker. Pandora's user base is far larger than other internet–dedicated radio outlets, such as Europe's Spotify (6.5 million active users in 2011), Slacker Radio (15 million in early 2010), or play–on–demand services such as Rhapsody (750,000). Only London–based Last.fm, with about 37 million active users, seem comparable in size. Half of new users sign up through mobile devices, and over half of streamed hours on Pandora in January 11 are to mobile devices. Pandora is the most popular music app on smartphones, used by about 23% of iPhone and Android users and 18% of Blackberry users.[8]
2011 April Growth Pandora records its 10 billionth thumb (and it was a thumbs up).[35]
2011 June 15 Funding Funding Round for Pandora in announced, with GGV Capital as investor.[36]
2011 October 31 Growth Pandora grows revenues 187 percent in the first nine months of 2010.[30]
2011  ? Growth Pandora becomes the largest internet radio service by a wide margin. However, royalties to both songwriters and musical performers remain high.[37] The company claims having paid over 50% of its revenues in performance royalties.[38]
2012 June Competition Spotify adds Pandora style free radio service to its iPhone and iPad apps, competing directly with the Pandora radio service and removing the need to have both a Pandora and Spotify account.[39]
2012 September Growth Pandora now works on 600 consumer electronics devices.[40]
2013 March 7 Team Pandora chairman and chief executive officer Joseph J. Kennedy announces that he would leave the company after nine years.[41][42]
2013 June 11 Acquisition Pandora acquires KXMZ –a terrestrial radio station in South Dakota, in an attempt to take advantage of the performance royalty fees available to broadcast radio stations and Internet radio services operated by owners of broadcast radio stations.[43][44][45][46][47]
2013 September 1 Service Pandora removes a 40-hour-per-month limitation for free mobile listening.[48]
2013 December Competition iTunes is described as Pandora's "biggest existential threat".[4]
2013 December Penetration Pandora is noted as accounting for 70 percent of all Internet radio listening in the United States.[4]
2014 Service Pandora announces that the radio service will be interactive so artists can track their songs' popularity.[49]
2015 May 19 Acquisition Pandora acquires Next Big Sound, a six-year-old company that tracks the popularity of songs online and in social networks. The acquisition of the social analytics company is expected to add insight to Pandora's massive trove of data.[50][51][52][53]
2015 October 6 Acquisition Pandora acquires Ticketfly, a ticketmaster-type site, for US$450 million. Ticketfly provides ticketing and marketing software for venues and event promoters, making it easier for fans to find and buy tickets. The acquisition is believed to close the loop for Pandora by creating a one-stop-shop for artist discovery, marketing, and concert ticket sales.[54][55][56][57]
2015 November 16 Acquisition Pandora buys assets from on-demand streaming service Rdio. The $75 million deal is aimed at acquiring Rdio’s technology, intellectual property, and some other capabilites, but crucially, not Rdio’s operating business itself.[58][59][60][61]
2015 Service Car manufacturers offer Pandora's streaming service in 30 percent of the cars in the United States.[49]
2016 June Statistics Pandora has 78.1 million active users as of June.[62]
2016 September 13 Partnership Pandora announces licensing deals with Universal Music, Sony Music, indie record label trade association Merlin, and more than 30 other labels and distributors.[63][64][65][66][67][68]
2016 September 15 Service Pandora launches Pandora Plus, a rebranded and improved version of its $5-a-month Pandora One offering.[69][70][71][62][72][73]
2016  ? Growth Having built its business as an online and mobile version of traditional radio, without allowing users to make selections, plus more modern deals by Spotify and Apple Music with the music industry, Pandora begins to stagnate. Spotify outstrips Pandora in total listeners in 2016.[69]
2017 May 8 Funding Pandora raises US$150 million in Post-IPO Equity funding round, with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts as lead investors.[74]
2017 June 9 Funding Pandora raises US$480 million in Post-IPO Equity funding round.[75]
2017 November Growth Pandora ends its third quarter with 73.7 million active listeners, a decline of more than 7 million listeners from the 81 million it had in the same quarter a year ago.[76]

Visual data

Google Trends

The chart below shows Google Trends data for Pandora and streaming service competitors Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music and Google Play, from January 2004 to Month 2021, when the screenshot was taken. Interest is also ranked by country and displayed on world map.[77]

Pandora, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music and Google Play gt.png

Google Ngram Viewer

The chart below shows Google Ngram Viewer data for Pandora Radio, from 2000 to 2019.[78]

Pandora Radio ngram.png

Wikipedia Views

The chart below shows pageviews of the English Wikipedia article Pandora Radio, on desktop from December 2007, and on mobile-web, desktop-spider, mobile-web-spider and mobile app, from July 2015; to February 2021.[79]

Pandora Radio wv.png

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

The initial version of the timeline was written by User:Sebastian.

Funding information for this timeline is available.

What the timeline is still missing

Timeline update strategy

See also

External links


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