Founder Tim Westergren on the future of Pandora



is the brilliant brainchild of Tim Westergren, who founded it to satisfy the need for Internet radio through the highly scientific music genome project. And up until recently it was free. Many fans were upset that the site is now charging its users. But Westergren maintains that they created a model that works for everyone.

For the user who doesn't want to pay anything, they're allowed 40 free hours a month. For the user who might listen more than this, but doesn't want to sign up for anything long term, they can pay 99 cents month-to-month, for unlimited listening with advertising.

And the third option, is Pandora One, a $36 per year subscription program for people who want to either support Pandora, or want to pay for a higher quality experience with added features and no advertising.

Today Pandora is doubling in size annually, and also doubling in revenue annually. They have built a team of 50 in advertising sales, and are really banking on their existing models, as well as serving as innovators in online advertising such as audio advertising.

Originally published