6 Essential Music Apps for the Post-Pandora Generation
Pandora revolutionized the music industry by offering on-demand, user-customizable radio stations and an enormous library of music on desktop and mobile. Since Pandora, the industry has seen the rise of several niche services that make it even easier for users to discover new music, personalize their listening, and share their favorite songs and artists with friends. These 6 apps are essential for music listeners who are looking to expand their horizons beyond Pandora.
Shazam | .com
Shazam lets users quickly identify songs, commercials, TV shows, and more by pointing their mobile device towards the audio source and tapping a button on the app to record and process an audio clip. Once the app has identified the media, users can navigate to the song or video on YouTube or a 30-second iTunes preview. In addition to being a great organic discovery service for users, Shazam has become an important tool for brands. By integrating Shazam into radio and TV ads, brands have been able to re-direct mobile users to custom brand experiences on their devices, which helps with migrating analog audiences to mobile.
Beats Music | .com
Beats Music has a stylish, sophisticated user interface in line with its coveted audio accessories, and a library of more than 20 million tracks and curated playlists from audio experts like Pitchfork and XXL Magazine. Beats emphasizes personalization above all else. The app offers “The Sentence” — a feature that requests a user’s location, mood, and current activity in order to select the ideal song for the moment.
Songza | .com
Of the many music apps available today, Songza may offer the most robust personalization features. Songza’s Concierge feature lets users select the time of day, day of the week, current activity, mood, energy/concentration needs, and genre preferences to hone in on the perfect set for the occasion. Telling Songza you’re at work will get you a largely instrumental set — more conducive to sustaining focus — while telling the app you’re pre-gaming with friends on a Friday evening will get you a custom mix of dance and pop songs to put you in party mode.
iHeart Radio | .com
iHeartRadio is a free digital radio that lets users listen to their favorite live stations and create ad-free custom stations. Users can access more than 1,500 live radio stations from across the country, with genres including pop, country, urban, rock, talk, and college. Users can also browse radio stations by genre and location, then tap the scan button to navigate from station to station. A thumbs-up/thumbs-down rating system also lets users send feedback to DJs on which tracks are trending.
Slacker Radio | .com
Slacker offers users hundreds of stations curated by human music experts. Popular stations include “Music Festivals,” as well as custom stations based on user-selected artists. Users can personalize their stations with continuous fine-tuning based on likes and bans on songs and artists.
Spotify | .com
With a sleek user interface, flexible pricing, and access to more than 20 million songs, Spotify is one of the leading apps of the post-Pandora era. The Spotify mobile app lets you shuffle any artist or album for free, while the tablet and computer versions give users unlimited, ad-supported access to music. Recently added browsing capabilities make it easier than ever to find playlists, and Spotify Premium enables unlimited offline listening and ad-free streaming on mobile.