5 thoughts on “How Pandora Grew to Get 60 Million Listeners”

  1. @Om,

    Not only do I agree with you that connectivity is the key, I’d also add full internet capabilities as a critical requirement. Cell phones added internet access via the wireless access protocol (WAP) a decade ago, however it wasn’t until handhelds (smartphones or otherwise) had full internet capabilities did we see Pandora and other IP based services take off. Pandora was a little early into the marketplace, but the iPhone ushered in the full Internet and made WAP irrelevant in industrialized nations.

    My $.02.


    1. I am going to say that full internet capability — a browser — is exactly what is not necessary on lower end devices. But the back end services have to be there. Pandora could be an ala carte packaged service on low end devices.

      These services offer the revenue streams and experience focus that users of feature phones would desire. While I agree that the web is a critical component of communication, the nature of that experience is likely to be widget-like or service/cloud oriented in the future.

  2. As usual, you have it wired, Om.

    I hadn’t used Pandora in a long time – until I got my iPad [don’t have a smartphone].

    I can see my use increasing an order of magnitude when iOS4 hits the iPad.

  3. A big part of Pandora’s success was viral acquisition of customers (good article – http://www.forentrepreneurs.com/lessons-learnt-viral-marketing/). Once the connectivity was in place it allowed Pandora to go viral. How did I hear about Pandora? A friend told me about it a few years back when all they had was the browser version. Now that Pandora is on millions of mobile phones, the viral effect has grown exponentially – just like the iPhone starts conversions – Pandora does the same.

  4. Guys

    Let’s all get real. Build it and they will come. They are here at Pandora, FB, and Twitter. But who is making money? None of them. Maybe FB is cash-flow positive, but if it could actually demonstrate that it made real money, it would be a public company already.

    Pandora is cool, partly because Pandora is free. How many people pay for the premier service? A small portion of the 60M.

    I welcome the day when intelligent internet business models are lauded in blogs around the web.

    Of course, if I am wrong about the revenue of these companies, please correct me. I would love to know that they are real businesses.

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