Pandora Launches a Premium Music Streaming Service
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Pandora is launching an on-demand music streaming service to rival Spotify and Apple Music. Pandora has built a massive fanbase with Pandora Radio, and the company clearly hopes that that brand awareness will help Pandora Premium succeed despite arriving very late to the party.

Pandora has, for almost 20 years now, been offering internet users a personalized radio station they influence by giving songs a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down. Even though Pandora Radio is only available in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand, it currently boasts 80 million active users.

That’s 80 million people Pandora now hopes it can persuade to pay for Pandora Premium.

What Is Pandora Premium?

Pandora Premium is an on-demand music streaming service in the same vein as Spotify and Apple Music. For the same $9.99-per-month price that seems to be standard across the industry, you’ll be able to play any one of 40 million songs as and when you want.

Pandora Premium builds playlists based on one or two songs of your choice, using The Music Genome Project that powers Pandora Radio. Every song you have ever given a thumbs-up will be waiting for you. And you can download songs, stations, and playlists to listen to offline.

In the press release announcing Pandora Premium, Tim Westergren, founder and CEO of Pandora, said:

“Every day tens of millions of people trust us to choose the exact right songs for them. That’s why they spend more time with Pandora than any other music service.”

“With Premium, we’re leveraging our immense trove of data and everything we’ve learned about personalization to offer a listening experience that sets a new standard for what a music service should be.”

Pandora Premium is available now on Android, iOS, and Chromecast, with Pandora promising to add support for other platforms in the future. Existing Pandora Plus subscribers will get six months of Premium at no extra cost, while everyone else can sign up for an invite at pandora.com/premium.

Pandora Premium Faces Stiff Competition

With several music streaming services already well established, Pandora Premium faces an uphill battle to succeed. While it does have brand awareness and a dedicated fanbase on its side, it really needs to offer something different from the competition. And it’s not yet clear how it’s going to differentiate itself enough to stand out from the crowd.

Do you regularly listen to Pandora Radio? Are you likely to try Pandora Premium? Do you already subscribe to one of its established rivals, such as Spotify or Apple Music? If so, what will tempt you to switch to Pandora Premium? Please let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: William Brawley via Flickr

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