Pandora launches premium music service

Paterniano Del Favero
Marzo 16, 2017

Even though Pandora Radio is only available in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand, it now boasts 80 million active users. It is a big change for Pandora itself, however. This suggests a high likelihood of increasing retention among existing Pandora users, and of potentially attracting new music streaming customers away from competitors Rhapsody (an estimated 2 - 3 million domestic subscribers) and Spotify (with approximately 50 million paying subscribers worldwide).

Even though Pandora, may be late to the streaming game, the company now has a monthly user base of 80 million with the hope of increasing it with new on-demand services.

Pandora Premium is launching over the coming weeks using an invitation system to start, with a free trial period baked in. The million dollar question is will users agree to the pay the $9.99 a month charge for access to 40 million songs on-demand, offline listening and individualized playlists from the company's team of music analysts?

Pandora announced Pandora Premium today, the long awaited music subscription service from the streaming radio giant.

Pandora said in a press release on Monday that any songs given a "thumbs up" by users would automatically be added to a new thumbs up playlist. Album or playlist with you even when you don't have service or Wi-Fi with Premium. While Pandora is very late to the paid subscription game, a key differentiator will be its recommendation algorithm, which classifies every song along hundreds of dimensions to personalize its online radio service.

What makes Premium stand out from Pandora's other offerings is that users will finally be able to select the songs they want, rather than depend on the service's radio stations. "That's why they spend more time with Pandora than any other music service", said Tim Westergren, founder and CEO of Pandora. Pandora Premium is now currently available on both Android and iOS, Google Chromecast, as well as across automotive consoles.

If you want to take a trip down memory lane of your favorite songs, Pandora offers a My Thumbs Up playlist that compiles every song you've tapped the Thumbs Up icon for. If you're a student, you can get Spotify Premium for just $4.99/month, and families (up to six users) can get Spotify Premium for $14.99/month. Are you likely to try Pandora Premium?

My Thumbs Up playlists. Pandora says Premium will land on the desktop and "popular connected devices" in "the coming months". Pandora, which hasn't been profitable in eight quarters, is trading 24% below where it began trading when the company went public in 2011.

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