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Tanner's Tips: #14 Pandora - How does it work?



Welcome to Tanner's Tips!

This post is dedicated to all the great features that Pandora has to offer. Each week I'll be talking about and breaking down a Pandora feature in detail. Some of you may be using these features every day and others maybe not so much. My goal is to introduce something new and fun to your Pandora experience. Thanks for listening! 🎧


If you have a support question, please visit our Support Forum and choose the board that best suits your question. If you'd like to submit a feature request , please visit our Feature Request board


  • Device: All devices 
  • SubscriptionFree (Ad-supported), Plus, Premium (individual), Premium Family

Here at Pandora we often see some confusion around how our service works compared to other music services. I'm hope that I can shed a little light on the workings of Pandora Radio and how we help expand your musical library. 

As many of you already know, Pandora offers three ways to listen: free ad-supported Pandora, Pandora Plus, and Pandora Premium/Family. Each option offers access to our industry-leading radio, podcast service and great features like Modes (see Tanner's Tips: #1 Pandora Modes for more info).



Ad-supported Pandora and Pandora Plus gives you access to stations designed to introduce you to new music through the artists and songs that you already know. You should think of stations on Pandora just as you would a radio station in your car - with some tweaks. 😄 Pandora stations behave different than than a playlist, in fact they can be a lot better. Start by typing in your favorite artist or song and Pandora will do the rest. Music that is similar to your music tastes will play on your stations. This gives your  station a little variety, playing not only the artists and songs you love but including some new artist to discover. Use Modes to further help fine tune your stations and musical mood.

When listening to stations, you are able to rate music by giving it a Thumbs Up (meaning you like it and want more music like that on your station) or Thumbs Down (meaning you don't like it, or don't want music like that on this particular station). When you give a song a Thumbs Down, that song will never play again on that station. But don't worry, you can always edit your thumbs if you change your mind. Check out Tanner's Tips: #4 Thumbs for more info on how.

Thumbs help to direct your station in the style or genre that you'd like to hear. You can add seeds to a station to help expand the variety you hear and further fine tune your station. For some tips on how to improve your stations, check out Tanner's Tips: #8 Tips to Improve Stations.


We use a similar, personalized approach to help you discover podcasts and recommend new ones to you. Thumb up podcast episodes you love, and we’ll recommend more podcasts like it! Thumb down episodes you don’t like, and we’ll tune our recommendations accordingly.


Pandora Premium and Premium Family subscribers can enjoy the same service as ad-supported and Plus users along with the ability to listen to music on-demand and create custom playlists (remember playlists are different than stations). Listening on-demand means you can pick songs or artists and listen to their specific catalog as much as you want! You can also create your own playlists or add pre-made playlists created by users or Pandora. 

Tanner | Community Moderator

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