Pandora is one of those companies that really doesn’t need an introduction. The popular streaming music service has garnered over 100 million registered users, and it just went public in June of this year with a stock price of $16/share.

But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the company, according to Pandora’s CTO Tom Conrad. Conrad spoke at GigaOM’s Mobilize conference earlier this week about the company’s rocky start, and how jailbreaking the iPhone changed everything…

The CTO explained that Pandora initially developed implementations for around 50 feature phones, but none of these ever really took off. Then the iPhone came along and the company became very excited. They saw it as a viable mobile device for their service.

But when Apple launched their smartphone in 2007, there wasn’t a third party app store. So Pandora developers had to jailbreak their iPhones to start working on software for the platform — and it paid off big time.

When the App Store went live in July of 2008, Pandora was ready to go. Their user base exploded, and now Conrad says that over 70% of Pandora’s listening happens on mobile devices.

It’s kind of cool to hear that a big company benefited from the jailbreak community, and this is another example of how jailbreaking spurs innovation. What if Apple hadn’t launched the App Store in 2008? Would Pandara have been a Cydia application?

  • I couldn’t agree more jailbreaking has probably helped alot of company’s that won’t admit it
    Good for Pandora for taking the bull by the horns on a new platform in 2007 I’m glad it’s turned out well for them
    True risk will inherit true rewards

  • Matt

    Pretty cool story. I wonder if they also know about the skip hack and stop ad tweeks too 😉

    • Thebeanstalk

      Hahaha. I’m sure they do. Considering how often they update.

  • soccerkrzy

    Exactly why I’ve paid for Pandora ever since they started providing the option for the One membership.

  • QuarterSwede

    Sounds about right. I’ve used the actual web site maybe 4 times in all the years I’ve listened to Pandora. The iPhone app is easy and it’s with me wherever I go (and in my car).

  • Dodgerdeezy

    My wife has a Pandora bracelet! That’s how much she loves them.

  • blewie

    i jailbreak so i can listen outside the us 😀

  • fdxgncgfn

    Personally, I don’t think of Cydia as an App Store. I think of it more like a place to get tweaks, important jailbreak utilities, and themes.