More than a fluke: Pandora arrives, expect apps and ads

Last week, GadgetGuy broke the news that the previously blocked streaming music service “Pandora” would launch locally. Now, we’ve got confirmation, and you can probably expect some other things happening soon.

With an email sent out this morning to users who were previously locked out (and hadn’t read our story), Australians were once again officially given access to the Internet radio service.

“I’ve waited five long years to say these words… hello Australia!” said Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora in the email. “You can’t imagine how delighted we are to be able to bring Pandora back to you.

“This relaunch of Pandora is a beta version of the service. We have some work ahead of us to completely localise it and enable to the full breadth of our capabilities to listeners in Australian, including such things as our mobile app for smartphones.”

Pandora's Android app has a widget (left screen) and will show ads if you haven't subscribed to the premium service (middle screen).

Pandora is one of the few music services that offers a free mobile version, supported by ads that interrupt the music ever three to four songs.

While it only officially re-launched this week, we have confirmed that Pandora’s US apps for iOS and Android do work locally without any problems, though they are currently unavailable on the local app marketplaces.

Other media devices provide access to Pandora’s music streaming, including Logitech’s Squeezebox range and Samsung’s Smart TVs, and we’re currently awaiting conformation as to when updates to Australian products with access to Pandora will be rolled out.

Pandora running on the iPad from Australia, still showing American advertisements.

Meanwhile, with the service being gradually setup for integration in the Australian marketplace, you can probably expect localised ads for people who don’t want to pay the $36 one year subscription fee.

Advertising on the American service currently runs based on both national campaigns and the post code that people enter, with Pandora able to customise the advertising based on listener location. With that in mind, it’s probably a safe bet that future listeners in Sydney won’t necessarily be hearing the same ads as the ones in Melbourne.

UPDATE (July 11):  A representative from Samsung told us that there’s nothing planned at this stage.