Pandora rebrand hints at its future in on-demand music

It's not so much a fresh coat of paint as a declaration of intent.

Pandora has been promising a big shift to on-demand music ever since it bought Rdio in 2015, and it's hinting at that sea change through a very conspicuous way: its branding. The company has given itself a new look that, as the company puts it, reflects the nature of music as a "personal experience." The days of that staid-looking "P" and matching word logo are over. Instead, you'll see a look more reminiscent of a tech startup, with a "dynamic" brand that mixes up patterns and colors.

The announcement isn't just about cosmetics. Pandora says that its Plus subscription and upgraded free tier should now be available to everyone, so you have something to do beyond stare at the new visuals. However, the rebranding may have a more enduring effect than feature availability. It's not so much an attempt to modernize as a statement of purpose -- Pandora wants you to think of it as more than just an internet radio provider, and the makeover is the first step in shattering those preconceptions. Let's just hope that its on-demand music service (still due later this year) lives up to the hype.