Pandora has plenty of reasons to celebrate the new year — specifically 1.6 billion of them. According to the streaming service’s year-end metrics report, Pandora users created more than 1.6 billion personalized radio stations and listened to more than 13 billion hours of music in 2012. That translates to more than 540 million days’ worth of tunes. Breaking things down further: listeners played more than one million different songs by more than 100,000 different artists, and more than 10,000 artists had upwards of 250,000 unique listeners. No wonder downloading is in decline.
“When we created the Music Genome Project thirteen years ago, we had a dual purpose: connect people with music they love and help talented artists find their audiences,” wrote Pandora founder Tim Westergren. “The Pandora audience is large enough now to begin making a real difference in the lives of thousands of working artists.” Westergren closed the announcement with a nod to the people that make Pandora possible: you know, the musicians. “And remember, if you find a band you love, buy their music, go see a show, join a fan club. That’s how we’ll create a vital and healthy musical culture here, and around the world.” Because we all know Pandora doesn’t want to keep paying those pesky royalty rates.