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Pandora overhauls mobile app to focus on hyper-personalization

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Recommendations can be tailored down to the time of day

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Pandora has revamped its smartphone app to focus on personalization, leveraging the data from its Music Genome Project to serve up custom-curated music and podcast recommendations.

There’s now a dedicated “For You” tab, which features a feed that dynamically updates throughout the day with new and different content broken down into “modules.” These modules are categories like Moods, Decades, or Artists on the Rise. Pandora says over 35 of these modules will roll out in the coming months, and more are planned for the future.

Image: Pandora

Based upon your previous interactions with Pandora, the “For You” section could prioritize styles of music, breaking news podcasts, or push new music from artists you frequently listen to as soon as it’s released. Pandora-only content is also included, like SiriusXM talk shows and Pandora Stories. And, Pandora says these recommendations can be tailored down to the time of day, depending on your unique listening history. It takes into consideration what content you’ve engaged with the most, and what you like and dislike based on what you’ve “thumbed-up” or “thumbed-down.” The company says it’s cataloged over 100 billion “thumbs” of listener data that allow it to accurately tailor content.

Also new is a “Pandora Modes” station that was previously exclusive as a web feature. Pandora Modes lets you actively customize the stations you’re listening to and tweak the listening experience. Selecting a mode can switch things up on a station so you only hear songs most liked by other users, songs from a particular artist, or shuffle in more songs by artists that don’t normally pop up.

Image: Pandora

Pandora users will also notice another change — the navigation bar has been moved to the bottom of the app — which should make it easier to use.

The new features are available to all tiers of Pandora users, and will roll out to limited iOS and Android users starting today.