Pandora comedy channels: A new direction for music app?

Pandora goes slapstick. Meanwhile, the popular music-streaming service logs its ten billionth 'thumb.'

Pandora, the popular online music streaming service, just got a whole lot funnier.

Pandora, the popular music streaming platform, this week announced that it would begin offering personalized comedy channels, which will analyze certain aspects of a stand-up comedy routine, and allow users to find bits that fit their preferences. Pandora will open the comedy channels with 10,000 sketches from over 700 comics; more comics and sketches will be added in coming months.

Over at Ars Technica, Matthew Lasar notes that the addition of comedy channels will be good for users, and also good for Team Pandora. "Rest assured," Lasar writes, "that as you are picking and choosing from these various genres, Pandora will be busily noting the attributes that you selected, and classifying your preferences via the great Genome database that until now was reserved for music."

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With every click, the comedy channels will become more dynamic, more comprehensive.

In related news, earlier this week, Pandora founder Tim Westergren announced on the company blog that the music-streaming service had hit its ten billionth "thumb" mark. (For the uninitiated, Pandora uses thumb icons –– thumbs up or thumbs down –– to help users tailor their own station. If you hit thumbs up, you'll get more songs like the one you just heard, and if you hit thumbs down, you'll get new songs.)

"Of the many milestones we've hit over the past 6 years, this is perhaps the one that makes us most proud," Westergren wrote. "We created Pandora to bring personalization to radio, to allow each individual to determine the sound of their stations, and to make it as simple and intuitive as possible. There is no greater evidence for us of meeting that objective than the ongoing engagement you have all shown in your use of the thumbs."

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