Giving the gift of good tunes is getting easier now that Pandora has rolled out its first line of physical gift cards in retail stores across the U.S.
Amanda Conti, a Pandora representative, told Vator that Pandora currently has 100 million registered users and around 37 million active monthly listeners but the company does not track how many users are paid Pandora One consumers versus the free version.
Conti also confirmed that The Pandora One gift cards will be "available exclusively" in Target stores and on Target.com for the 2011 holiday season.
Last October, Pandora allowed the gifting of Pandora One subscriptions through the website where a user could print or email the gift.
Pandora One is an annual subscription to the premium version of the internet radio service and remains at $36. This subscription is advertising-free, has a higher sound quality than the free Pandora version, includes a desktop application, has no song-limiting restrictions and is more visually customizable than the free version.
Other online music service have had physical gift cards available online and in retail stores such as Amazon and iTunes but Pandora One is unique since the consumer is purchasing a listening service rather than the individual songs or albums.
The closest competition, Spotify, offers a digital gifting service at $9.99 per month.
The retail giant, with more than 1,700 stores in the nation, has been curating trendy brands over the last few years to help distinguish itself from its biggest competitor Walmart.
"Target is an ideal partner for our first major retail launch because of their national reach," said Tim Westergren, Pandora founder and chief strategy officer in a statement. "With the Pandora One gift card available exclusively at Target, this holiday season, gift-givers have yet another easy way to share the joy of personalized radio with friends and family."
This announcement also marks the partnership between Pandora and InComm, a physical gift card giant that works with Playstation, Toys R Us and the Cartoon Network.
Atlanta-based InComm has cards in 225,000 location over the world and has generated more than $10 billion in retail sales for 2009 alone.
The first half of 2011 showed more than 10% growth for specialty retail gift card activation dollars, according to First Data.
"It’s abundantly clear the gift card activation growth in electronics and appliance stores is driving the overall growth of the specialty retail segment," the report states.
Pandora has entered a market where gift card dollars toward electronics and appliance stores grew a whopping 23.5% for the first half of 2011.
Consumers will have to wait and see whether Pandora One cards will become as ubiquitous as iTune cards and if Spotify will follow suit by taking the virtual and making something physical.