Pandora finally acknowledges 3rd party Windows Phone apps, says they are violating Terms of Use

The soap opera between Pandora and Windows Phone continues. This time Pandora has actually taken the time to address the situation, something they’ve rarely done in the past. A few weeks ago they changed the APIs which broke all the 3rd party Pandora apps (Windows Phone or otherwise). A reader at WPCentral reached out to Pandora and recieved a detailed reply. Here is an excerpt:

“We know that our recent release has broken most unsupported Pandora clients, and we do apologize for the surprise and inconvenience that undoubtedly caused to your listening experience.

At a basic level, third-party applications are violating our Terms of Use and are obviously not authorized to sell (or give away) something that fundamentally derives its value from our product…

We definitely do recognize that our actions limit the options available to well-intentioned listeners who do not want to use any of our endorsed clients, and we’re genuinely sorry for the inconvenience this brings to our enthusiastic listeners like yourself! We really appreciate your support of the service and respect the DIY spirit, but our hand has been forced on this issue.”

The line that gets me is “well-intentioned listeners who do not want to use any of our endorsed clients.” Pandora, we would gladly use an endorsed client if one existed! The developers are not trying to replace the Pandora app, they are just trying to bring any sort of Pandora experience to the platform.

I agree that it’s not right to charge for an app that relies on unofficial APIs, but I don’t see the problem in giving it away for free. Pandora is basically saying they don’t want Windows Phone owners to use their product. Meanwhile the music streaming services that care enough to create an app or provide APIs will get more users.

  • Guessing they are trying to avoid legal action, since the music industry especially likes to go after groups letting people listen to music without buying it. But it is definitely unfortunate that they pulled all their WP apps without giving an official one as a substitute.

  • Jason

    “Pandora, we would gladly use an endorsed client if one existed!”

  • J.R.

    Anyone know what their beef is with Windows Phone anyway? Why do they refuse to make a client?