Tue July 10, 2012 4:20pm
AFTER a long exodus from our computers and smartphones, music streaming service Pandora has returned to Aussie shores.
The only thing is, they haven't really made a big fuss about it.
In an email sent to subscribers last week, Founder Tim Westergren said, in a letter to the media news website Mumbrella, that it was "delighted" to bring the service back to Australia.
He also said users' radio stations were kept "Safe and sound" and that they would be able to find them "just as you left them" when the company was forced to block access to Australians in 2007 after it was forced by the US Copyright Board to double the royalties it was paying performers, making it financially impossible to run the service outside of the US.
The Pandora that is available in Australia is a beta version, but Mr Westergren said it would create customised location based services - including a mobile app for smartphones.
Pandora is also offering an ad-free premium service called "Pandora One", which offers higher quality audio and a desktop app for $3.99 a month or $36 a year, according to its website.
Unlike its competitors, Pandora works by recommendation. It creates playlists based on your initial song choice. For example if you choose Wonderwall by Oasis, it might then offer you Say It Ain't So by Weezer.
If you don't like the choices offered to you by Pandora you can simply skip to the next song.
The Australian Pandora relaunch demonstrates that the company is ready to get into the "streaming wars" as it competes for market share with MOG, Grooveshark, Spotify, Rdio and others.
In 2007 Pandora was ordered by a panel of judges in the US to double the royalties it was was paying to its performers.
The ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board essentially crippled Pandora financially, forcing it to increase its fees and force studios to sign licensing guarantees, making it too expensive to run its service in countries outside of the US.
Its non US services were shut down shortly after the ruling.