Pandora has yet another discovery tool under its belt to help listeners be exposed to and find new music. The music streaming service announced on Wednesday the launch of new handpicked music stations that provide personalized recommendations curated by a team of the company's musicologists.
Pandora will handpick recently-released songs from both emerging and underground artists, as well as popular artists, and add them to its New Music Stations across various genres. These stations include: New Pop, New Country, New Hip Hop, New Dance, New Indie, New Electronic, New Alternative, New Regional Mexican and New Latin & Tropical. New music will be added to these stations weekly.
These stations are more than just general new music stations for finding the latest and upcoming hits. The New Music Stations feature new songs based on each specific user's preferences. The idea branches off from Pandora's core listening experience: tapping on the thumbs up to indicate that this is a song the user likes. Radio stations on the service are then tailored to types of artists and songs played based on personal taste.
Since Pandora already knows what its individual users love, the New Music Stations include songs they haven't yet discovered that they will probably also love.
"Musical preferences are never one-size-fits-all. With the constant stream of newly released music and generalized recommendations that are made for the masses on mainstream radio formats, amazing talent gets lost in the fold," Ron Nenni, Pandora's director of music programming, said in a press release. "Our goal with these stations is to connect new music made by artists of all shapes and sizes to Pandora's massive audience in a way that's targeted and personal. We are pushing the boundaries of discovery and serving up an experience that listeners can't find anywhere else."
— Pandora (@pandora_radio) June 15, 2016
The new handpicked stations are just one of many ways users can discover new music on the platform. Pandora previously launched its "Browse" music discovery feature earlier this year, which allows the user to listen to tracks from an artist they might not have heard of that is similar to one they give thumbs up to. Located in a tab next to "My Stations," this feature provides station recommendations based on the artists they enjoy listening to, along with insights like how many fans that artist has.
Launching another discovery tool will help the music streaming service continue to compete against rivals like Spotify and Apple Music. Spotify has a Discover Weekly feature that is a lot like Pandora's New Music Stations. Spotify's version provides its subscribers with a personalized playlist that includes two hours of music with recommendations made to be unique to each user's preferences. The types of songs played are based on what that user has been listening to recently as well as that of others with similar tastes. These playlists are updated every Monday.
With its newly-unveiled redesign at its Worldwide Developer Conference this week, Apple's music streaming service is also expanding on its "For You" section that also helps subscribers discover new music. This section will include the new "Discovery Mix" at the top, curated playlists just like Spotify's Discover Weekly. Users can also find new music in the "Browse" tab that will replace the "New" section and feature more content.
It appears that being able to find new music easily is an important feature alongside exclusives for these platforms.