Is Pandora taking over our Christmas carols?

Web radio service is offering pre-made holiday music from different genres. Why bother with CDs, traditional radio, or downloads when Pandora is Johnny-on-the-spot with carols?

Greg Sandoval Former Staff writer
Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.
Greg Sandoval

Over the past week, I noticed that some of my friends and family had mentioned that they trimmed their Christmas trees with carols provided by Pandora, the Web's top radio and music-recommendation service.

Pandora founder Tim Westergren CNET

I wondered what was up.

Turns out this is the first year that Pandora has offered pre-made holiday genre stations, according to Deborah Roth, spokeswoman for the company. You can choose a generic Christmas station or you can also divide up your holiday music by different genres.

You can get holiday music in rock, jazz, or country flavors.

The feature seems to have caught on. Roth said that currently, one out of every six stations created by Pandora's 65 million users is holiday music. Another first for the company is that it has begun selling $36 gift cards, which will pay for one year of Pandora's premium service (unlimited listening and no ads).

Sounds like Pandora's Christmas success is just another example of how streaming music is replacing the compact disc and traditional radio.