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I probably have 50 stations. I would love it if I could group them by kind: classical, world, French, female vocalists, etc.
mod edit: changing title for clarity
Yes not being able to assign stations to categories is a major drawback of Pandora. It would be so easy. Just add an ellipsis option for the station to "Add to category", then as with playlists, you create a new category, or select an existing one. That way stations could appear in multiple categories. This feature would definitely attract and keep users to Pandora. Additionally having categories of stations would make it easy to just select a category of stations and just shuffle them, based on mood, time of day, environment, who is listening, for example have categories for family members, like a category just for the kids.
In addtion if users go Premium maybe they could have the option to listen to their Thumbs Up station playlists by category, while mainaining a master Thumbs Up playlist. I get the feeling Pandora hasn't added this feature in an attempt to get users to go to a Premium subscription plan so they can have more listening options. I certainly hope this isn't true.
I venture that the number of users that would go Premium just to be able to create and curate playlists is much smaller than the number of users who would just like features for playing stations, or listen to their Thumbs Up. Playlists are too much work to curate. But, playing Thumbs Up playlists, especially by category, would be a bigger attraction. I think most people listen to stations while busy with other things.
I do feel that by adding more features, the Plus and higher subscriptions would accelerate Pandora's user base through the roof by giving users good reasons to pay for Pandora other than free subscriptions. I think many free users would like to be offered tiered options for subscriptions if provided with more features for listening. Don't provide just Plus and Premium options. Maybe add another tier after Plus with more features and offer for $7.99/month. Give users incentives to pay for subscriptions.
Satisfy your customers is the first rule of business. But I get the feeling that Pandora is approaching users that says, "Go free and listen to ads and no features", and attract advertisers to satify the business model. This is the same model used for cable TV, an abyss of entertainment because of the commercials.
If content providers see for the current future a revenue generating path of mixing freemium ad-supported content, along with subscription-based content, then it makes sense that these providers should have feature rich experiences for the users for both freemium and subscription models, to maximize their user base, thus revenue growth.
But I do realize it's not that simple. Content providers must analyze their percentages of freemium and subscription users, then decide how to get their freemium users to go subscription, with subscriptions being guaranteed revenue, while freemium revenue being considerably variable so unpredictable to some extent.
So a feature rich experience for freemium users is somewhat not a goal if providers want users to go subscription. But providing a good user experience for the freemium users is desirable for at least the ad-supported revenue, then offer more features for them to go subscription. But providers must at least offer enough user appreciated product features for freemium users, then add features to get them to go subscription, then curate the product features to please and keep all users.
I think a think a better business model is going a la carte and let users listen and view what they like, as I feel they will pay for what they only want to hear and see. With the multitude of web connected devices, no-ad music, video, and news streaming is certainly the future, with advertising quickly becoming an ancient business model, if not already.
I feel the best avenue for the future of advertising is to create a web portal for advertising only that lets users subscribe to, and the users gain some sort of benefits for paying attention, for example discounts on their entertainment web subscriptions.
With an advertising portal that all content providers, the advertisers and users could flock to, users could register their profiles, demographics, and product interests, so advertisers could use for ad targeting, instead the current model that has advertisers analyze search engine and purchase histories to target ads, which all users see as violating their privacy, generating great mistrust of tech companies and retailers because of their sneaky practices.
Then with the web portal, users could login and search for products and services, and thus create a user profile of those interests, and build an avenue for ads targeting that content providers could use for their freemium revenue models. Maybe this would be a better approach than analyzing search engine and purchase histories for ad targeting. It’s just that the current advertising model generates so mistrust with the general population.
Comment added to previous comment
Being able to group be a user defined category would be a great bonus. For example, coming out of another Christmas season it would be nice to effectively “park” that category in its own folder for the next 10-11 months until they are needed once again.
Sigh. Been asking for that for years. All we got were price increases.
Would also be nice to mark some stations as “pinned” so they would be grouped together at the top. Like favorite folders on windows file explorer.