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RAIN 7/12: New Pandora HTML5 website designed to be faster, more social

Posted on: 07/12/2011

NEW SITE ARRIVING THIS WEEK TO SUBSCRIBERS, FEW WEEKS LATER FOR EVERYONE ELSE

Pandora today revealed a new redesigned website that ditches Flash for HTML5. The redesign reportedly includes big speed improvements, social integration and other new features.

The redesign will roll out to Pandora One subscribers this week. Other users will get the update in the next few weeks, Pandora said.

The new Flash-free site loads in about 2-3 seconds, according to TechCrunch (here), compared to the 10 seconds it takes the current Flash site to load.

(Adobe Flash is a multimedia platform used to add animation, video, and interactivity to web pages. Its adoption is widespread on desktop computers but less so on mobile devices (the most notable exception being Apple’s iPhone and iPad). Flash has been criticized for adversely affecting the usability of web pages. HTML5 is the latest revision of the ubiquitous “language” of the Web with built-in video and audio capabilities, which in many cases can replace Flash.)

Additionally, the new site emphasizes social features, allowing users to more easily comment on and share content through Pandora. Users also will have a music feed, where they can see what their friends are listening to on Pandora (much like Rdio’s social features, or Facebook’s News Feed).

With the new design, Pandora “doesn’t rely on social networks such as Twitter or Facebook: It is a social network,” writes Eliot Van Buskrik at Evolver.fm (here).

Other new features include improved search (with personalized suggestions) and a redesigned player. Design-wise, Pandora says the new site mimics their mobile apps — compare the above screenshot with their iPad app, for example.

You can find out more about the redesign from Pandora here.

PANDORA’S ANALYST DAY PRESENTATION: 100M USERS, 11B “THUMBS

Pandora hosted its first Financial Analyst Day this morning. Among the many facts and figures presented, Pandora’s manages revealed the service now has 100 million registered users. They’ve also collected 11 billion “thumb” song ratings (users can rate every song they hear on Pandora with a “thumbs up” or “down,” which customizes their channel).

Pandora also showed that 60% of their total listneing happens on mobile devices — up from 40% in Q1 2010.

An archive of the webcast will be available in about two weeks. You’ll be able to find it here.

SLACKER PARTNERS WITH TARGETSPOT

Slacker has partnered with TargetSpot to deliver in-stream audio, video and display ads to AOL Radio’s streams. “TargetSpot is the perfect partner to help monetize the AOL Radio service,” said Jim Cady, CEO of Slacker.

Advertisers will be able to target listeners by time of day, listening preferences and geography. Find TargetSpot’s press release here.

PEW: 28% OF SMARTPHONE OWNERS USE THE DEVICE AS THEIR PRIMARY WEB CONNECTION

A new survey from the Pew Internet Project found that 83% of American adults own a mobile phone, 42% of which own a smartphone.

Overall, nearly half of those surveyed who were fully-employed have a smartphone. Plus, 28% of smartphone owners use their mobile device as the primary Internet connection — prefering a smartphone to a laptop or PC. Ars Technica has more coverage here.



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