Pandora will take on Spotify, Apple Music with Pandora Premium
Pandora is gearing to go head-to-head with Spotify early next year with its own take on on-demand music streaming in the form of Pandora Premium. Just like all other streaming services, Pandora Premium will offer its subscribers full access to a massive music library ad-free at a standard rate of $9.99 a month.
Pandora briefly demoed Premium during an event in New York, highlighting the service's highly personalized nature. Pandora Premium features a smart search engine, which means each user's browsing experience will be unique - based on their preferences and listening history, not on overall song popularity. The familiar thumbs-up-and-down icons are not going anywhere, and all the songs you've liked over the years will be used to present you with results and suggestions relevant to your preferences. In line with all other on-demand music streaming services, Pandora Premium will also let you take all of your music offline.
Pandora Premium will reportedly feature a sleek and streamlined design, very similar to that of now defunct Rdio, which Pandora acquired last year. The personalized nature of the service will span the app's UI as well, reflecting album cover artwork designs and color schemes on various levels across the interface.
Between the popular free version and the upcoming Premium, Pandora also offers a $5/month Plus streaming service that will be pushed in the mid-tier when Premium launches in 2017. Pandora Plus offers ad-free music streaming, lets you skip more tracks than the free version, and has some offline features, but is more limited than the full-on premium subscription coming next year. Pandora is reportedly planning to make Premium available to its “VIPs” a few months before the official launch, which sounds a bit like a closed beta.