Vudu Opens the Music Box with Pandora

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Vudu is probably best known for its $150 set-top box that taps into broadband video and high-definition video-on-demand offerings—and the service recently added a download-to-own feature. Now Vudu is supplementing its streaming media offerings with Pandora Internet radio streams, enabling users to tap into personalized—and free!—streaming music. Pandora is the latest additionl to Vudu’s application stable, which also includes options for YouTube, Picassa, Flickr, and other services.

"We look forward to bringing many more popular services like Pandora to the Vudu service," said Vudu VP of strategy and content Edward Lichty, in a statement. "Our open development environment allows us to easily release new applications in partnership with some of today’s most popular services and content delivery platforms, increasing the value of the Vudu service platform for our users and partners."

Using their television, Vudu users can create and manage Pandora stations, and personalize the music content by giving a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to tracks as they play—Pandora is based on the Music Genome Project and creates playlists across a wide variety of genres based on musical style attributes: the idea is that as users tell Pandora what they like, the system is more likely to select new music that exhibits traits listeners prefer. The Vudu implementation enables users to handle multiple Pandora accounts (so every member of a household can have their own Pandora station).

Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed, but the move will hopefully be a positive development for Pandora, which has had its business threatened by moved to increase required royalties paid for streamed music.