Pandora adds new listening ‘modes’ to give users variety


With its acquisition by satellite-radio firm Sirius XM done and dusted, streaming service Pandora is rolling out an interesting update to its product.

The new feature is called ‘Modes’ and offers several different spins on its traditional system of serving up personal-radio ‘stations’ to listeners. Now those users will be able to choose from six modes of listening, including the classic ‘My Station’ mode. The others include ‘Crowd Faves’ (where they’ll hear the most-thumbed-up songs by other listeners in that station); ‘Deep Cuts’ (which goes deeper into the catalogue of that station); ‘Discovery’ (which will serve up more artists who aren’t usually played on that station); ‘Newly Released’ (self-explanatory: the newest songs from the artist or genre the station is based on); and ‘Artist Only’ (to only hear songs by the artist a station is based on).

Pandora reckons the new feature will encourage more “lean-in” listening, rather than passive radio-like behaviour. It may be part of a bigger trend: witness reports last year that Spotify was testing a feature to personalise some of its programmed playlists, albeit without the kind of user-selecting input that Pandora is rolling out now.

Stuart Dredge

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