Pandora’s Thumbprint Radio combines all your interests into a personal mega-station
With more personalization, Pandora hopes to take on Apple Music and Spotify.
Pandora has a new Internet radio station for all those moments of crippling indecision.
Dubbed Thumbprint Radio, the station draws upon your entire “thumbs up” history to play both new and familiar tracks. That way, you can start listening to songs you might like without having to specify an artist or genre. The station will continue to adapt as you give more thumbs up to individual tracks.
To get started, users will need to have at least three Pandora stations, each with at least four thumbs up. The feature is available today on Pandora’s mobile apps, and on the web.
It’s worth noting that Rdio offers a similar feature, called YouFM, as part of its own Internet radio service. Last month, Pandora announced that it will acquire key assets from Rdio, and shut the service down after it files for bankruptcy. The timing of Thumbprint Radio is likely a coincidence, as the acquisition isn’t final yet, but it may still be of consolation to Rdio users once that service stops working.
Why this matters: More broadly, Thumbprint Radio could be a response to the recommendation features of Spotify (which offers a “Discover Weekly” playlist based on past listening habits) and the human curation of Apple Music. Pandora is still a different kind of service, offering just shuffled radio playlists instead of on-demand tracks, but Pandora has suggested that it will launch a full on-demand service next year. Once that happens, the recommendations of Thumbprint Radio will become much more powerful.