Pandora launches premium music service

Pandora debuts premium on-demand music tier

Pandora is planning a staggered rollout for its premium service on iOS and Android, with current Pandora users getting the first crack at trying it out. In "My Music", every station you've ever created, the albums and songs you collect and the playlists you create live in a simple, combined list with your most recent music at the top. Sorrell added: "The fundamental issue is that you [Google] have to take responsibility for this as a media company". Spotify has 50 million paid subscribers and enjoying strong growth, and Apple Music has amassed about 23 million subscribers since it launched in mid-2015. Banking on its superior internet radio service is a really smart move and negates the need for the algorithmic or handcrafted playlists that you'll find with the competing services.

Users can drop in a song and "rather than having to hunt and peck your way to a playlist", Pandora rolls out a whole host of songs uniquely picked for the user, he said.

Pandora has 80 million monthly users but recently announced layoffs amid unease over its model of online radio stations, which most listeners access for free.

Investors don't appear to have much confidence in Pandora Premium. The company is clearly trying to tempt existing Pandora Plus subscribers to upgrade their plans by offering six months of Pandora Premium for no additional charge.

Pandora's unique advantage is its understanding of what users like, making the service like "a friend you have known for a while", Westergren said.


Open Pandora Premium and you'll see the familiar look and feel that has always made Pandora so easy to use.

Offline mode: Download albums, songs stations or playlists you want and bring an end to those moments of deafening silence when you lose a signal.

The Verge reports that there's no ability to edit the Up Next queue now, which seems like a mistake on Pandora's part that should be remedied soon. Chief among these are the efforts to streamline playlist creation and search, as all previously thumbed up tracks become immediately available for Premium users in one place via an auto-generated playlist.

The on-demand platform, Pandora Premium, will put the Oakland, Calif., music streaming operator in direct competition with market leader Spotify as well as Apple (AAPL) Music, Amazon (AMZN) Music, Alphabet's (GOOGL) YouTube and Jay-Z's Tidal. It'll also continue to add to this playlist for all songs you Thumbs Up going forward. On the downside, early adopters better be OK with sticking to their mobile devices and Chromecasts, as other connected devices won't be supported at launch. "We've created a differentiated product".

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