Pandora is turning off all ads on its streaming service for 24 hours starting at 12 a.m. ET (9 p.m. PT) Wednesday for a very special occasion: The personalized radio streaming service is celebrating its tenth birthday.
Pandora itself is actually older than 10; the company launched in 2000 under the name Savage Beast Technologies with the goal of building what it called the “Music Genome Project:” A collection of data about music that classified each song by characteristics like genre, style, tempo, mood and instrumentation.
Savage Beast initially wanted to use this data to build better radio streams for other online services. It changed its business model in 2005, when it launched its own, advertising-supported personalized radio service dubbed Pandora.
Since then, Pandora users have collective listened to over 74 billion hours of music, created over 8 billion stations and rated more than 55 billion songs. In its most recent quarter, Pandora logged 79.4 million listeners per month, and the company surpassed $1 billion in revenue for the first time ever in the last twelve months.
Pandora has also around $1.5 billion to rights holders over the past decade, but the company is frequently the target of criticism from songwriters and musicians who claim that the company doesn’t pay its fair share.