Pandora Adds Genre-Based Stations

Just the other day, I introduced my mother to music recommendation service Pandora. We’d been discussing how my grandfather used to love listening to barbershop music and she said she missed it and would love to find a way to listen. Finding the music she wanted, however, was not so easy, as we needed to find the right band or song that exemplified the music she wanted to hear – it was a journey through Google, Wikipedia, AllMusic and a number of other sites.

Today, Pandora will make this type of musical browsing easier with the addition of station-creation based on musical genres, instead of just bands or songs. Update: Pandora says it announced a day early and that genre stations will actually be live on Wednesday.

With the new feature, you don’t need to think of the type of music you want to hear, pick the band you think best represents that music, and then hope that Pandora feels the same way. Instead, Pandora will let you choose from more than 100 channels and “micro-genre stations”, which the company say are already a big hit. According to the company, channels like “Today’s Country” and “Today’s Hip Hop and Pop Hits” are already on the top 100 “most frequently listened to stations” on the site.

The channels will still allow for personalization with the familiar “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” buttons letting users shape the type of music they want to hear.

Michael Zapruder, a “senior music curator” with Pandora, says the feature has been the subject of many requests.

“Our listeners have been telling us for a while that they’d like an easy way to start a station from popular genres with the option to personalize the station from there,” Zapruder says in the release. “We wanted to find a uniquely Pandora way to address this consumer need so we created a number of genre stations that are carefully seeded with relevant songs and constantly refreshed with new releases.”

A full list of channels will be available today on the Pandora website.

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