Pandora Overhauls Its Basic ‘Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down’ Recommendation Algorithms

Music streaming service Pandora has launched a new feature called ‘Modes’ to offer its users more control over their music preferences. The new feature is a move away from the ‘Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down’ recommendation system, instead offering six new listening modes. The modes still take user preferences into account while offering more ways to enjoy those preferences.

The company, which is now owned by Sirius XM, said the changes are focused around new trends in music usage. The result is a more personalised recommendation engine, instead of a one-size-fits-all approach. The new Pandora Modes are available on most Pandora stations and can be found by going to an old station or creating a new one and selecting ‘Now Playing’. All Pandora Modes available for the selected station will be listed beneath the station name.

The first Pandora Mode is titled ‘My Station’ and works based on the original Pandora algorithm, while the second one, ‘Crowd Faves,’ gives preference to the songs with the most thumbs up from listeners in the station. ‘Deep Cuts’ is intended to dive into the catalog of a particular station’s artist or genre, while ‘Discovery’ pulls in artists who wouldn’t usually play on that station.

The last two, ‘Newly Released’ and ‘Artist Only,’ are more selective, with the first only grabbing an artist or genre’s newest songs, and the second focusing entirely on one artist’s catalog. The new feature is available to free and premium users across every tier of the service.

Pandora has always offered user-driven music curation, but this shift allows for different experiences without the risk of losing a user’s original preferences. Interactions with the different Pandora modes help to inform the next set of recommended songs. But the resulting playlists are now tweaked into various different directions.

This shift in the system follows several other changes to Pandora’s platform-based content consumption methods. That includes the Stories tool, which merges podcasts and music, allowing for new storytelling options and formats.

Pandora’s Mode service also comes at a time when the music industry is seeing a growth in personalised playlist creation. Spotify, Pandora’s biggest rival, currently has over 100 million paid subscribers, largely due to its personalised playlist feature.

Pandora’s new Modes feature is aimed at keeping its users engaged and offering them more control over their music preferences. While there is no guarantee that the new feature will lead to more users, it is expected to attract new listeners who are looking for a more personalised music experience.

The new feature is also expected to help Pandora stay competitive in the rapidly evolving music streaming industry. The company has struggled to keep up with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music, but the introduction of Modes could help it to attract a new audience and keep existing users engaged.

In conclusion, Pandora’s new Modes feature offers a more personalised music experience to its users and gives them more control over their music preferences. The new feature is a move away from the traditional ‘Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down’ recommendation system and offers six new listening modes. The new feature is available to free and premium users across every tier of the service and is expected to attract new listeners and keep existing users engaged.