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Pandora revamps its app and reveals its top tracks of 2019


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You can almost certainly guess the most “thumbed” (i.e. most liked) track of 2019 on Pandora. It’s the most popular song of the year in terms of plays pretty much everywhere and was even The Guardian’s song of the year. Yes, ‘Old Town Road’ continues to eat the world whole. But can you guess Pandora’s most “thumbed” track of the decade? It wasn’t Adele or Ed Sheeran or Taylor Swift or Drake or Bruno Mars or Beyoncé or Katy Perry or Eminem. Give up? It was ‘Earned It’ by The Weeknd. Right?

Beyond this, the service has updated its app – after testing it with a select number of users – with the inclusion of a For You tab to offer users even more personalised listening recommendations. For You is also how it is showing off Pandora Stories (effectively music + podcast hybrids) and talk shows from its owner, SiriusXM.

The updated app applies to the multiple tiers on the service – the ad-supported version as well as Pandora Plus and Pandora Premium. Also being added to For You are a series of custom playlists from a number of US sports stars.

This all comes just after the company published its latest quarterly results at the start of November. Its advertising revenues grew 8% year-on-year to $315m while subscription revenues grew 5% to $132m. Its tally for monthly active users was 63.1m for the quarter – a slip from 68.8m in the same period 2018. It ended Q3 with nearly 6.3m ‘self-pay’ subscribers.

The spruced-up app is clearly a move to stem the user decline by finding ways to boost listeners’ engagement, against a competitive environment of strong growth for Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon in the US.

Stuart Dredge

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