Who’s up for one more “premium” on-demand music streaming app? Yes, another Spotify and Apple Music “killer”, which also has to contend against the likes of Amazon Music Unlimited, Google Play Music, Deezer or Tidal.
Sounds tough, but Pandora is hardly a market newbie. Founded way back in 2000, the “Internet Radio” company touts a massive active user base of 81 million people, though just a small fraction of these are currently subscribed to the ad-free $5 a month Plus service.
It remains to be seen how many will be willing to pay double, i.e. $9.99 a month, for Pandora Premium, which looks an awful lot like the competition on paper, only you know, late to the whole unlimited audio party.
Available now on iOS and Android phones, Google Chromecast devices, integrated in the car with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as headed for “other platforms” in the coming months, Pandora Premium is all about “personalized suggestions” and playlists it can create in minutes to fit “any activity, mood or party.”
A library of 40 million songs sounds impressive but also nothing special when stacked up against Pandora’s rivals, and the same goes for offline downloads, a so-called “smarter approach to search”, and a “completely redesigned Now Playing experience that dynamically changes color based on the artwork of the music you’re listening to.” On the decidedly bright side, existing Pandora Plus subscribers get six months of Premium for no extra charge.