Pandora today offered a new way of accessing the service through television, unveiling a version of the site built in HTML5 at tv.pandora.com. The company says the HTML5 app offers easier navigation and controls than earlier efforts, as well as a sleeker design. It can be accessed today from TV web browsers including those on the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, and will expand to other devices over time.
Pandora, which now has 70 million monthly active users, has long offered integration with televisions. More than 10 million people have listened to Pandora through their TV, the company said. But previous integrations required that the company build a new application for every manufacturer, a labor-intensive process that the company is hoping to mostly supplant with HTML5.
"Web-based standards can be the answer."
Pandora's chief technical officer, Tom Conrad, said HTML5 is increasingly the way that connected objects — the so-called internet of things — will communicate with each other. "We imagine a future where web-based standards can be the answer to that question," he said in an interview with The Verge. "We're pointing the industry in that direction with this announcement."
The new TV offering comes as Pandora is in transition, operating without a CEO at a time when it is losing money. While the rise of Spotify and similar services have done little to slow the company's ability to attract new users, new music services continue to proliferate. A new TV experience may help Pandora continue to grow, but its biggest battles continue to take place far outside the living room.