Pandora passes 50 million member milestone

Ronny Kerr · April 2, 2010 · Short URL:

Super popular online radio station sure to be a hit on Apple's iPad, launching tomorrow

Pandora for iPad"Wow. 50 million people have signed up for Pandora. What a crazy five years. Thanks for listening everybody!"

That's the tweet Pandora CTO Tom Conrad sent out on Thursday, reminding the entire tech community that Apple, whose much lusted-after tablet computer launches tomorrow, isn't the only tech company under the sun.

Pandora has been considered a tour de force with its recently never-ending achievements. At the end of 2009, not only did the Oakland, CA-based company register its 40 millionth member, but it also announced that it had attained profitability. If in less than four months the service has added another ten million users, it's not going to go unprofitable anytime soon.

Of course, the latest milestone didn't stop people from continuing to talk about the iPad.

Tons of new apps and current app updates have been hitting the App Store the past couple days, in expectation of the iPad's launch. Pandora joined in the fun, releasing version 3.0 of its popular mobile application.

The new version, a Universal app that works on either the iPhone or iPad, now includes album artwork as well as improved audio streaming, which should translate as quicker load times and less drops.

iPad users will be pleased to see the radio application making good use of the large screen real estate, listing different stations on the left and currently playing information on the right. Similar to the iTunes interface, the application emphasizes audio controls at the very top of the screen, where users can thumbs up/down a song, play/pause, and skip to the next track. Finally, in the upper left, users can search for specific content.

It will be interesting to see whether the iPad broadens Pandora's audience or merely reinforces its current user base.

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