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Pandora launches Stories to mix music playlists with artist storytelling

Pandora has a new audio feature out today called Pandora Stories — and no, it’s not another Snapchat clone. The streaming service is pairing its existing catalog of music playlists with its growing collection of podcasts (sort of) to create a new listening experience.

Here’s the pitch for Stories from Pandora:

Podcasts can tell stories about music, but generally don’t include full songs. And playlists have songs, but lack personal context from the artists behind them. Pandora Stories have arrived to fill that void.

As a fan of both audio forms, it’s a neat concept (even if Pandora is using the term ‘podcast’ generously here).

Pandora sees “musicians, actors, filmmakers, athletes, celebs, authors, and beyond” all using the new Stories feature to mix music with storytelling. The streaming service also has tools available for creators to make their own Stories; just request access from Pandora at

Stories is launching with variety of collections ready to go and more on the way:

The first collection of Pandora Stories features John Legend, Daddy Yankee, Lauren Alaina, Perry Farrell, Wes Anderson music supervisor Randall Poster, Amy Winehouse collaborator and Dap-Kings guitarist Tommy Brenneck, and a Pandora-hosted story exploring “Love Songs That Really Aren’t Love Songs,” with forthcoming stories from 2 Chainz, Rob Thomas and many more.

Pandora says Premium subscribers (Pandora’s version of Apple Music) can hear Stories ad-free; non-Premium listeners can hear Stories uninterrupted after viewing a 30-second sponsored clip.

Apple has its giant directory of podcasts, but it doesn’t mix its directory with Apple Music in any way today. Apple Music is instead retiring interactive artists features with Connect going away, but a similar feature that let artists mix commentary between tracks in special playlists for members would be compelling.

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Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.