Pandora to launch in NZ next week

Pandora will be launching officially next week and you can meet the founder in Auckland

Over the weekend, I received an email from Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora Internet Radio. I’m a Pandora listener.

The reason for the email?

Pandora will be launching, officially, in Australia and New Zealand next week.

Pandora is an internet radio and streaming service that until June had been unavailable to New Zealanders.

The free version has been open for us to listen to since June, with adverts announcing that Pandora had plans to open in New Zealand soon, but we’ve been unable to access the full version, which includes a desktop client, high quality audio and smartphone apps.

That will change next week, however, when we finally get access to the subscription service as well as the free service.

Alongside the launch, Tim Westergren will be in town to host a 'Town Hall' event for Pandora listeners. The event will be held at the Viaduct Events Centre, in Auckland, at 6:30pm on 10 December. Want to come along? Drop an email to Newzealand@pandora.com with your name, and the names of any guests you’ll be bringing along, to say you’ll be there.

PC World will be meeting up with Westergren earlier in the day on 10 December for a bit of a chinwag, so if you can’t make the Town Hall event, let us know any questions you’d like answered in the comments below.

Auckland gets the first Town Hall event, before Melbourne and Sydney, which are the other two cities hosting Westergren during his time in Australia and New Zealand.

Westergren will be talking about Pandora at the Town Hall event, as well as taking Q&A from the audience.

Pandora’s main claim to fame, compared to other music streaming services, is the idea of a 'music genome' - this classifies elements present in each piece of music in its database, and uses it to provide tracks similar in various characteristics, whether it be syncopated beat, female vocals, heavy bass line, or violin solos. There are over 2000 elements used for categorisation, providing an effective recommendation system.

Pandora launched in the US in 2000.

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Zara Baxter

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