I remember vividly when I was introduced to Pandora. My 12th grade physics teacher would use it whenever we would have lab, in order to make the extra hour of heating up metal and watching it expand more bearable.
Prior to this, I was one of those heathens who used YouTube to look up songs, or just steal my friends phones for music, as they did not deserve to have control over what they got to listen to. But the introduction of Pandora in my life made these past struggles vanish. The fact that I could tailor stations to my specific taste, indicate favorite genres or artists, and thumb up or down individual tracks, made Pandora a necessity.
Through the app, I was introduced to my favorite artists, like Brother Ali, Atmosphere, and Childish Gambino. Having downloaded the app in 2014, I have over 2000 songs thumbed up.
So, as the years went on and I saw Spotify taking the scene, I discounted it. Why would I ever need anything other than Pandora? I had all the songs I wanted, and hearing them in random order kept the music from getting stale. Plus, the ads weren’t that annoying—maybe 30 seconds long, every 4 to 5 songs. I obviously would have preferred no ads, but this felt like a small price to pay for the body of music I was being exposed to.
Recently, this changed. Ads cropped up every 2 to 3 songs. At a minute or longer, Pandora was like the actual radio, the thing I had so desperately tried to escape many moons ago. What had made Pandora so great initially was because it introduced me to new music, exposing me to bands I’d never listened to before. However, it got to the point that I had used Pandora so much that I had listened to every song that was on each of my favorite channels. I had already thumbed up everything I liked, so I was just hearing the same things over and over. This, coupled with the seemingly out of nowhere feature that now limited thumbs to 100 per station, made it a worse experience.
But I still had all the music I liked on Pandora. This was the main reason for my unwillingness to shift platforms. I put so much time into curating what I liked on this app. How could I ever switch to Spotify where I’d have to manually look up and download every song I’ve ever liked on Pandora? Obviously I wouldn’t have to do that, but I’m neurotic so why go against the grain in this case. Ya feel?
And yet, with the accusations of me being an 80-year-old every time I’d try to play music on Pandora, I made the switch. And honestly, I’d say I’m having a pretty comparable experience.
After all the hubbub, I was expecting a profound change. Apart from not having ads because of Spotify Premium (thanks mom and dad), I’m pretty indifferent to it. However in time, the benefits will be clearer as I curate more playlists, and explore the app more. The interface is a lot nicer than Pandora’s too, so there’s that.
But as of right now, if someone asked me how I feel about Spotify, I’d just shrug and say, “aight”.
Article By: Zach Bordelon