Pandora might be well behind Spotify when it comes to streaming music, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard at work improving the service. Last year the company bought pieces of Rdio after that service filed for bankruptcy, and now its mobile apps are getting an updated look and feel as well as new music discovery features.
Yesterday Pandora announced Browse, which the company calls “a new way to help you discover even more music you’ll love.” Unlike the feature of the same name in Spotify, here the artists and stations are based on what music you’ve already told the service you like. Since telling Pandora which songs you like and which you don’t has been integral to the service for so long, this is one area where it has an advantage over Spotify, Apple Music, or Tidal.
“Finding new music should be a simple and enjoyable experience,” Pandora’s chief product officer, Chris Phillips, said in the press release announcing the update. “Our musicologists have scored millions of songs to find the perfect music just for you. The new Browse feature makes it easy to find the music you love whether you know what you want, or need a little help discovering music you didn’t know existed”
Along with Browse, the streaming service has also introduced Music Metrics, which lets you see how many other people are listening to a given station, and the ability to see what is playing on a station before you start listening. A new mini player has also been added to the bottom of the app, and the My Station list can now be organized in either “recent” or alphabetical order.
These features have no doubt been in the works for a while, so this likely isn’t a look at what Pandora might have gained from the Rdio acquisition. The company has previously said that customers should look for “an expanded music listening experience” toward the end of this year.
The new Browse feature is currently available to Pandora users in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. For now, the update is only available for iPhone users, though the company says it will be available for Android phones “soon.”
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