Pandora Announces Television-Optimized, Standards-Compliant Version of Its Player

Pandora's new tv.pandora.com product, optimized for living room televisions

Pandora today announced the launch of "tv.pandora.com," a new product aimed at listeners' flatscreen televisions, marking another doorway for the company into listeners' living rooms. As the line between computer screen and television has blurred over the past several years, many ways of content consumption (Netflix's instant streaming option, for example) seem to be migrating from the desk to couch.

In a blog post, Pandora CTO and EVP of Product Tom Conrad explained that tv.pandora.com currently works with both the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 gaming consoles as well as "standards-compliant," web-enabled televisions and set-top boxes. Conrad went on to stress that tv.pandora.com is as much an experiment in standardization as it is another way for the company into families' dens -- Pandora wants web browsers, regardless of the device they're running on, to work with its radio product. "The world doesn’t need more proprietary platforms fragmenting the innovative efforts of developers everywhere," wrote Conrad. "The PC world was transformed by the emergence of the standards-based web twenty years ago, and we think the same solution will serve to unify the coming 'Internet of things.' tv.pandora.com, and the new platform from which it was built, is our first step to lead the industry down this path."

Pandora's move follows a recent pattern, exemplified by the strategies of two companies, Valve and Microsoft. Valve's Steam software, a popular iTunes-like marketplace for games, introduced "Big Picture Mode," a television-focused design for living room computers, last December. As well, Microsoft's unveiling of the Xbox One last week focused as much on the console's cross-medium entertainment options as it did on any video games.

While Pandora has been embroiled in a fight over new radio royalty rates for internet and terrestrial broadcasters, with assenting and dissenting opinions seemingly expressed weekly, the company continues to grow its subscriber count and revenue, passing 200 million users earlier this year and proving its paywall a success.

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