Pandora’s New Desktop App Puts Music Front-and-Center Over Podcasts

The new Pandora app for desktops is now available for Mac users. Pandora says support for Windows PCs is coming soon.

The new app is a native desktop app designed to give you access to Pandora without a browser. The app also includes plenty of new features that previously required a browser extension to enable.

Pandora’s list of desktop advantages include:

  • Native keyboard audio controls to play, pause, replay, skip, shuffle, or thumbs up/down songs.
  • Native desktop notifications for new songs that display the artist, album, and song title.
  • App-based controls for Pandora Modes, which allows listeners to customize the music available on Pandora stations. These modes include Crowd Faves, Deep Cuts, Newly-Released, Artist Only, and more.

A music before podcasts approach.

While rivals like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon continue to focus on podcast content, this new Pandora desktop app puts music front and center.  Despite several new SiriusXM shows appearing on Pandora as original content podcasts, music still takes the central focus here.

Don’t get me wrong: Pandora’s podcast strategy is just as deep as its competitors.  In an industry that is expected to generate over $659 million by 2020, it would be foolish not to focus on original content.  Perhaps Pandora doesn’t want to ruffle too many feathers by pushing podcast content too hard.  Most Pandora listeners are passive, often creating a station and letting Pandora’s algorithms choose where the station goes.

Podcasts are by nature active listening products.  Users typically seek out podcasts with content they’ll enjoy. They’re also part of Pandora’s paid subscription plans, so putting them front-and-center doesn’t make sense for free listeners.

Where to find it.

Mac users can download the native desktop Pandora app here.  The app requires macOS version 10.10 and above to run correctly. A Windows version of the app is advertised as ‘coming soon.’